The International Telecommunications Union (ITU) has defined the laser wavelengths to be used in the frequency plan for dense wavelength division multiplexed (DWDM) optical fiber networks. It is up to the equipment manufacturers to supply suitable transmitters which network planners must use. The options involve a rack or array of many lasers or tunable lasers. We review the latter which are complex, four-section devices and discus their operation. More importantly we consider how recent work has permitted characterization and then control of these so that a single laser can access the full ITU bandwidth. We also consider the new functionality only recently available through fast wavelength switching. This may permit improved management of the fiber's full capacity at all times despite peak-to-mean traffic fluctuations per wavelength channel. The possibilities for new functionality mean a closer interaction between device and network designers in future.
Photonic Network Communications – Springer Journals
Published: Oct 8, 2004
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