Unlocking spectral efficiency in intensity modulation and direct detection systems

Tsonev, Dobroslav and Videv, Stefan and Haas, Harald (2015) Unlocking spectral efficiency in intensity modulation and direct detection systems. IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications, 33 (9). pp. 1758-1770. 7106494. ISSN 0733-8716

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    Abstract

    A number of inherently unipolar orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) modulation schemes have been introduced recently in an attempt to improve the energy efficiency of OFDM-based intensity modulation and direct detection (IM/DD) systems. All such algorithms, including asymmetrically clipped optical OFDM (ACO-OFDM), pulse-amplitude-modulated discrete multitone modulation (PAM-DMT) and unipolar orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (U-OFDM), experience an inherent loss in spectral efficiency caused by the restrictions imposed on the OFDM frame structure required for the generation of a unipolar signal. The current paper presents a modified modulation approach, termed enhanced U-OFDM (eU-OFDM), which compensates the spectral efficiency loss in U-OFDM. At the same time, it still allows for the generation of an inherently unipolar modulation signal that achieves better performance in terms of both electrical power and optical power dissipation compared to the conventional state-of-the-art technique direct current (DC)-biased optical OFDM (DCO-OFDM). To the best of the authors' knowledge, the current work also presents the first experimental proof-of-concept demonstration of both U-OFDM and eU-OFDM, and clearly demonstrates the significant energy advantages that these two schemes can introduce in an optical wireless communications (OWC) system.