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The growing demands for optical communication bandwidth are driving optical communication technologies toward increased wavelength channel density, spectrally-efficient modulation formats, higher symbol rates, as well as increased-density spatial parallelism. In addition to these emerging methods, one can also leverage the bandwidth available beyond the currently utilized C and L ITU bands. To enable operation outside of these well-developed bands, gain elements have to become available with either different gain materials (such as thulium) or through parametric amplification, most commonly achieved with highly-nonlinear fibers.
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