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Furukawa Review No.35

Wideband Tunable Dispersion Compensator Using a 25-Stage PLC-MZI

Hiroshi Kawashima, and Kazutaka Nara

Abstract

In high-bit-rate optical transmission systems that are being introduced into commercial applications, such as those with 40-Gbps bit-rate, there is a need for tunable dispersion compensators (TDCs) that enable adaptive compensation for dispersion fluctuations due to temperature changes and the like in the transmission lines, and accordingly, a variety of TDCs based on different principles have been reported. In particular, the cascaded Mach-Zehnder interferometer (MZI) type TDC using a lattice type filter based on the silica-based planar lightwave circuit (PLC) technology is promising because of its ease of control and large achievable dispersion. However, the usable bandwidths of this type of TDCs reported to date are thought to be insufficient for their practical application to the 40-Gbps systems. We have demonstrated here, therefore, a TDC using a 25-stage PLC-MZI that combines a usable bandwidth of 60 GHz or higher and a tunable dispersion range of ±300 ps/nm or more. Its superior characteristics will be reported in this paper.

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