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The demand for 100 Gb/s optical links is rapidly spreading across all levels of the optical networking infrastructure. Many of the first deployments will be in the Local Area Network (LAN) and metro-core and regional network environments. To address needs in LAN, the upcoming IEEE standard (IEEE P802.3ba) seeks 100 Gb/s over distances up to 40km. Furthermore metro-core/regional Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) architectures require reach of several hundred km and the ability to pass through ten or more ROADMs. However, a number of fundamental challenges remain including the selection of appropriate modulation formats that are robust to a variety of nonlinearities, are sufficiently spectrally efficient, and able to withstand the strong optical filtering of cascaded ROADMs.
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