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Open AccessArticle

Effective Linewidth of Semiconductor Lasers for Coherent Optical Data Links

Optics Division, Royal Institute of Technology, Electrum 229, Kista SE-16440, Sweden
VPI Photonics GmBH, Berlin 10587, Germany
Networking and Transmission Laboratory, Acreo Swedish ICT AB, Kista SE-16425 , Sweden
DTU Fotonik, Technical University of Denmark, Build. 343, Kgs. Lyngby DK-2800, Denmark
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Photonics 2016, 3(2), 39;
Received: 12 May 2016 / Revised: 7 June 2016 / Accepted: 9 June 2016 / Published: 15 June 2016
PDF [1773 KB, uploaded 15 June 2016]


We discuss the implications of using monolithically integrated semiconductor lasers in high capacity optical coherent links suitable for metro applications, where the integration capabilities of semiconductor lasers make them an attractive candidate to reduce transceiver cost. By investigating semiconductor laser frequency noise profiles we show that carrier induced frequency noise plays an important role in system performance. We point out that, when such lasers are employed, the commonly used laser linewidth fails to estimate system performance, and we propose an alternative figure of merit that we name “Effective Linewidth”. We derive this figure of merit analytically, explore it by numerical simulations and experimentally validate our results by transmitting a 28 Gbaud DP-16QAM over an optical link. Our investigations cover the use of semiconductor lasers both in the transmitter side and as a local oscillator at the receiver. The obtained results show that our proposed “effective linewidth” is easy to measure and accounts for frequency noise more accurately, and hence the penalties associated to phase noise in the received signal. View Full-Text
Keywords: coherent communications; fiber optics communications; laser linewidth coherent communications; fiber optics communications; laser linewidth

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Iglesias Olmedo, M.; Pang, X.; Schatz, R.; Ozolins, O.; Louchet, H.; Zibar, D.; Jacobsen, G.; Tafur Monroy, I.; Popov, S. Effective Linewidth of Semiconductor Lasers for Coherent Optical Data Links. Photonics 2016, 3, 39.

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