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1. Motivations for Lightwave Communications
2. Fundamental Data Communication Concepts
3. Network Information Rates
4. Key Elements of Optical Fiber Systems
5. Standards for Optical Fiber Communication
Motivations for Lightwave Communications

The Path to Optical Networks:

1. The invention of the telegraph by Samuel F. B. Morse

in 1837—the era of electrical communications started.

2. In 1876 Alexander Graham Bell developed a device that

could transmit entire voice signal in an analog form.

3. The invention of Laser in the early 1960 aroused a

curiosity for optical region of the electromagnetic
4. The technical breakthrough for optical fiber
communications started in 1970 when researchers at
corning demonstrated the feasibility of producing glass

5. fiber for practical communication link. The first optical

fiber links appeared in the late 1970s.Telephony
signals were transmitted at about 6 Mb/s over
distances of around 10 Km.

6. High demand for optical communication in 1990s

due to bandwidth hungry services. Continuous
expansion of internet. This demand was fueled by the
rapid proliferation of personal computers.
10 -14
10 -13
10 -12
10 -11
10 -10
10-9 X RAYS
1nm 10
10 -2
1cm 10 -1 MICROWAVES
300 MHz--1m 1
10 2
300 kHz1km10 3 RADIOWAVES
10 4
10 5
300 Hz…. 10 6
10 8
Regions of the electromagnetic spectrum
Advantages of optical Fibers:
1. Long distance communication: Lower
transmission losses compared to copper wires. Data can
be sent over long distances, thereby reducing repeaters.

2. Large information capacity: Wider Bandwidth than

copper wires, reduces the number of physical lines for
sending data.

3. Small size and low weight: This feature also is of

importance in aircraft, ships, and in military applications.

4. Immunity to electrical interference: An especially

important feature of an optical fiber relates to the fact that
it is a dielectric material, which does not conduct
5. Enhanced Safety: Optical fibers offer a high
degree of operational safety, since they do not have
the problems of ground loops, sparks, and
potentially high voltages inherent in copper lines.

6. Increased Signal Security: Electrical signals

could be tapped of easily, optical fiber requires
sophisticated mehods for tapping signals.
Optical Spectral Bands

The spectrum of electromagnetic radiation

Optical spectral band

Electromagnetic energy: it is the

combination of electrical and magnetic fields and
includes power, radio waves, microwaves, infrared
light, visible light, ultraviolet light, x rays and
gamma rays.

Optical communication generally uses

wavelength to designate the spectral
operating region and photon energy or
optical power when discussing topics such
as signal strength or electrooptical component
Optical spectral band

Important relationships between

wavelength, frequency and energy:
If the frequency is known and one wants to find the
wavelength, we use

The relationship between the energy of a photon and its


In terms of wavelength (measured in micrometers), the

energy in electron volts is given by
Optical spectral band
Optical spectrum: ranges from about 5 nm (ultraviolet) to
1 mm (far infrared), the visible region being the 400- to 700-
nm band. Optical fiber communications use the near-infrared
spectral band from 770 to 1675 nm.

The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has

designated six spectral bands for use in intermediate-range
and long-distance optical fiber communications within the
1260- to 1675-nm wavelength region.

These band designations arose from the physical

characteristics of optical fibers and the performance
behavior of optical amplifiers.

The regions are known by the letters O, E, S, C, L and U.

Cosmic Rays
10 Gamma Rays
Ultra-Violet 400
10 X-Rays
16 455
10 Ultraviolet Light Blue
Visible Light Green 550
12 Infrared Light Yellow 580
10 Orange 620
10 Television & FM Radio Red
S. Wave Radio
10 AM Radio Infrared 800
10 Radio Frequencies 850
2 Sound 1300
Subsonic 1550

Visible Spectrum of Light

Optical Spectral Band

Original band (O-band) 1260 to 1360nm

Extended band (E-band) 1360 to 1460nm

Short band (S-band) 1460 to 1530nm

Conventional band (C-band) 1530 to 1565nm

Long band (L-band) 1565 to 1625nm

Ultralong band (U-band) 1625 to 1675nm

The 770 to 910 nm band is used for shorter wavelength multimode fiber systems.
Thus this region is designated as the short-wavelength or multimode fiber band.
Fundamental Data Communication

1. Elementary Communication Link

2. Analog Signals
3. Digital Signals
4. Digitization of analog Signals
5. Channel Capacity
6. Decibel Units
Elementary Communication Link
Analog Signals
Digital Signals

Digitization of analog Signals

1. Band limiting

2. Sampling

3. Quantization

4. Encoding
Digitization of analog Signals

Digitization of analog waveforms. (a) Original signal varying between 0 and V volts; (b) quantized
and sampled digital version.
Channel Capacity

Maximum rate at which data can be sent across a

channel from message source to the user destination.

If channel has a bandwidth B (measured in hertz) then

the maximum information transmission capacity C of that
channel is given in bits per second by the relationship
(shannon capacigy formula).

C=B log2(1+S/N)

The parameter S/N is the signal to noise ratio (SNR). This

ratio is often expressed in decibels:
SNR dB=10 log (signal power/ noise power)
Channel Capacity

1. Shannon formula indicates the theoretical maximum

capacity that can be achieved.
2. In practice this capacity cannot be reached, since the
formula only takes into account thermal noise .
3. It does not consider factors such as impulse noise,
attenuation distortion, or delay distortion.
4. Capacity can be increased by raising the signal
strength, but it also raises nonlinear effects.
5. Increasing the bandwidth B decreases the ratio S/N.
Channel Capacity

Q 1: Suppose noisy channel with 1 MHz

bandwidth in which signal to noise ratio is 1.
Find maximum capacity for this channel?
B=1 MHz
Where log2 x=(log10x)/(log102)

Q 2: Find the capacity of a channel that operates between 3

MHz and 4 MHz and in which the signal to noise ratio is 20
Decibel Units
Attenuation (reduction) of the signal strength arises from various loss
mechanisms in a transmission medium.
For example:

Electric power is lost through heat generation as an electric signal

flows along a wire.
Optical power is attenuated through scattering and absorption
processes in a glass fiber or in an atmospheric channel.

To compensate for these energy losses, amplifiers are used periodically

along a channel to boost the signal level, as shown in next slide.

A standard and convenient method for measuring attenuation through a

link or a device is to reference the output signal level to the input level.
Decibel Units

Periodically placed amplifiers compensate for energy losses along a link

Decibel Units
For guided media such as an optical fiber:

The signal strength normally decays exponentially.

For convenience it is designated in logarithmic power

ratio measured in decibels (dB).

The dB unit is defined by

Power ratio in dB = 10 log (P2/P1)

Decibel Units
•Unit that is particularly common in optical fiber
communications is the dBm.
•This expresses the power level P as a logarithmic ratio of P
referred to 1mW.

The power in dBm is an absolute value defined by

Power level (in dBm)= 10 log ( P in mW / 1 mW)

An important rule-of-thumb relationship to remember for

optical fiber communications is 0 dBm = 1mW.

positive values of dBm are greater than 1mW.

Negative values are less than 1mW.
Decibel Units
Representative values of decibel power loss and the remaining percentages
Decibel Units
Examples of optical power levels and their dBm equivalents
Q1: After traveling a certain distance in
some transmission medium, the power of a
signal is reduced to half at point 2,

that is P2= 0.5P1.

what is the attenuation or loss of power at
point 2?

Q2: Consider the transmission path from point 1 to point 4 shown in fig below.
Here the signal attenuated by 9 dB between point 1 and 2. After getting a 14 dB
boost from an amplifier at point 3, it is again attenuated by 3 dB between points 3
and 4.what is the dB level at point 4?
Network Information Rates
Telecom Signal Multiplexing
• Digital Multiplexing Equipment with optical line



140MB/s 565MB/s

Optical Line
• Optical Line Terminal Equipment
– Performs two functions
• Multiplexing of 140 Mbs in to 565 Mbs
• Conversion of electrical signal in to Optical
• Channel Capacity
– 2MB/s 30 channels
– 8MB/s 120 channels
– 34MB/s 480 channels
– 140MB/s 1920 channels
– 565MB/s 7680 channels
Telecom Signal Multiplexing

Digital multiplexing levels used in North America, Europe, and Japan

SONET/ SDH Multiplexing Hierarchy

Common SDH and SONET line rates and their popular numerical name
SONET/ SDH Multiplexing Hierarchy

• Basic transmission structure

– Synchronous Transport Module (STM)

Level Rate capacity

STM 1 155.520 Mb/s 63 PCM
STM 4 622.080 Mb/s 252 PCM
STM 16 2 488.320 Mb/s 1008 PCM
STM 64 9953.280 Mb/s 4032 PCM
WDM Concepts
•The use of wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) offers
a further boost in fiber transmission capacity.

•The basis of WDM is to use multiple light sources

operating at slightly different wavelengths to transmit
several independent information streams simultaneously
over the same fiber.
•Conceptually the WDM scheme is the same as FDM.
•Researchers started looking at WDM in the 1970s.
•Dramatic surge in its popularity started in the early 1990s.
•New fiber types also provide better performance of
multiple wavelength operation at 1550nm.
Basic Concept of wavelength division multiplexing
Key Elements of Optical Fiber Systems

Main Constituents of an optical fiber communication link

Major elements of an optical fiber link
Overview of Element Applications

Optical fiber: It is the one of the most important elements in an

optical link. A variety of fiber types exist, inside a building, in underground
pipes, outside on poles, or under Water.

Optical transmitter: Consists of a light source and associated

electronic circuitry. The source can be a light-emitting diode (LED) or a
laser diode.

Optical receiver: Inside the receiver is a photodiode that detects

the weakened optical signal and converts it to an electrical signal. The
receiver also contains electronic amplification devices and circuitry to
restore signal fidelity.

Optical amplifiers: Traditionally the optical signal was converted

to an electric signal, amplified electrically, and then converted back to an
optical signal. The invention of an optical amplifier that boosts the power
level completely in the optical domain and avoids these transmission
Overview of Element Applications

Active components: Lasers, Photodiodes and optical

amplifiers fall into the category of active devices, which
require an electronic control for their operation. Also Tunable
(wavelength-selectable) optical filters, variable optical
attenuators, optical switches.

Passive devices: Passive devices are optical

components that require no electronic control for their
operation. Example, optical filters, optical splitters, optical
multiplexers, couplers
Windows and Spectral Bands*

Early applications in the late 1970s was using:

1. 770 to 910 nm wavelength band
2. GaAlAs optical sources
3. Silicon photodetector.

Originally this region was referred to as

the first window.

Around 1000 nm there was a large attenuation spike due to

absorption by the water molecules.
Windows and Spectral Bands*
•In 1980s low loss region 1260 to 1675 was introduced by
reducing hydroxyl ions and metallic impurities in the fiber
material. This spectral band is called the long wavelength
•Since the glass still contained same water molecules, third
order absorption spike remained around 1400 nm. This
spike defined two low loss windows.
Second window centered at 1310 nm and third window centered at
1550 nm. These two windows are called O-band and C band.

•InGaAsP light source and InGaAS photodetectors operate at 1310 to 1550 nm.
•Doping optical fibers with rare earth elements such as Pr, Th, Er creates optical
fiber amplifiers (PDFA, TDFA and EDFA devices).
•Water attenuation peak around 1400 nm can be eliminated by special material
purification process. This can open E-band (1360 to 1460nm) .
History of attenuation
Characteristics and operating ranges of the four key optical fiber link components*
Standards for Optical Fiber Communication
There are three basic classes of standards:

2)Component Testing

3)System Standards

1. Primary standards refer to measuring and

characterizing fundamental physical parameters such as
attenuation, bandwidth, mode-field diameter for single
mode fibers, and optical power.

National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST)

National Physical Laboratory (NPL)
Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt (PTB) in Germany.
2. Component testing standards define relevant
tests for fiber optic component performance, and they
establish equipment calibration procedures.

Telecommunication Industries Association (TIA)

Electronic Industries Association (EIA)
International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T)
International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)
TIA over 120 fiber optic test standards
Also called Fiber Optic Test Procedures (FOTPs),

TIA/EIA-455-XX-YY where XX = measurement technique

YY = publication year.
TIA/EIA-455-XX becomes FOTPXX.
3. System standards refer to measurement methods
for links and networks.
(Interoperability and compatibility between different vendor
equipment are important concern)

American National Standards Institute (ANSI)

Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE)
International Telecommunication Union (ITU-T)
A Sampling of ITU-T Recommendations for Optical Links and Networks
Operating Ranges of Various Multimode Fibers for Applications Up to 10GigE

TIA/EIA-568 lists the specifications for 10GigE fiber.

Operating Parameters of Typical Single-Mode Fibers at 1310 and 1550nm

ITU-T Recommendations for Telecommunication Optical Fibers