Optical communications : past, present and future trends

Naoise MacSuibhne, Andrew D. Ellis

Research output: Unpublished contribution to conferenceAbstract


In this talk we will review some of the key enabling technologies of optical communications and potential future bottlenecks. Single mode fibre (SMF) has long been the preferred waveguide for long distance communication. This is largely due to low loss, low cost and relative linearity over a wide bandwidth. As capacity demands have grown SMF has largely been able to keep pace with demand. Several groups have been identifying the possibility of exhausting the bandwidth provided by SMF [1,2,3]. This so called “capacity-crunch” has potentially vast economic and social consequences and will be discussed in detail. As demand grows optical power launched into the fibre has the potential to cause nonlinearities that can be detrimental to transmission. There has been considerable work done on identifying this nonlinear limit [4, 5] with a strong re- search interest currently on the topic of nonlinear compensation [6, 7]. Embracing and compensating for nonlinear transmission is one potential solution that may extend the lifetime of the current waveguide technology. However, at sufficiently high powers the waveguide will fail due to heat-induced mechanical failure. Moving forward it be- comes necessary to address the waveguide itself with several promising contenders discussed, including few-mode fibre and multi-core fibre.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 23 Nov 2015
EventIONS KOALA - Auckland University, Auckland, New Zealand
Duration: 23 Nov 201527 Feb 2016


ConferenceIONS KOALA
Country/TerritoryNew Zealand


  • optical fibre communication
  • few mode fiber
  • multi core fibre
  • hollow core fibre


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