High bitrate burst-mode electronic dispersion compensation/equalization circuitry for converged optical access networks

01 November 2020 → Ongoing
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Engineering and technology
    • Data communications
    • Optical networks and systems
    • Analogue, RF and mixed signal integrated circuits
Passive optical networks High-speed electronics Integrated circuit design
Project description

This project will focus upon the research for realization of a burst-mode electronic dispersion compensation/equalization chip. The application area is optical access networks. While over the past 10 years the bitrates for optical access networks under the form of passive optical networks (PONs) has not increased, in the last years this has changed drastically. Operators are considering various options to deploy new 5G services such as mmWave frequencies, MIMO and coordinated beamforming. These techniques require moving RFsignal processing to a centralized node which needs to handle a huge amount of data. Equipment vendors consider PONs as a potential candidate for this traffic. This has spurred renewed interest in PONs, with a focus on achieving bitrates of 50Gb/s, a fivefold increase over the state-of-the-art. PONs consist of a multipoint-to-point fiber plant, in which a number of optical network units (ONUs) are connected to an optical line termination (OLT). The challenging part of a PON is the upstream, in which ONUs sends packets back to the OLT: this requires specialized burst-mode transceivers. At 50Gb/s, signal impairments due to limited bandwidth of optics or fiber chromatic dispersion can severely limit transmission performance. This can be overcome using electronic equalization. In the upstream direction of PONs, this then needs to be burst-mode equalization, of which no practical implementation has been demonstrated today. Such chip is the focus of this project.