Deep Neural Network Equalization for Optical Short Reach Communication

Nonlinear distortion has always been a challenge for optical communication due to the nonlinear transfer characteristics of the fiber itself. The next frontier for optical communication is a second type of nonlinearities, which results from optical and electrical components. They become the dominant nonlinearity for shorter reaches. The highest data rates cannot be achieved without effective compensation. A classical countermeasure is receiver-side equalization of nonlinear impairments and memory effects using Volterra series. However, such Volterra equalizers are architecturally complex and their parametrization can be numerical unstable. This contribution proposes an alternative nonlinear equalizer architecture based on machine learning. Its performance is evaluated experimentally on coherent 88 Gbaud dual polarization 16QAM 600 Gb/s back-to-back measurements. The proposed equalizers outperform Volterra and memory polynomial Volterra equalizers up to 6th orders at a target bit-error rate (BER) of 10 −2 by 0.5 dB and 0.8 dB in optical signal-to-noise ratio (OSNR), respectively.


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