Space-division multiplexing in optical fibres

D. J. Richardson, J. M. Fini, L. E. Nelson
2013 Nature Photonics  
Optical communications technology has made enormous and steady progress for several decades, providing the key resource in our increasingly information-driven society and economy. Much of this progress has been in finding innovative ways to increase the data carrying capacity of a single optical fibre. In this search, researchers have explored (and close to maximally exploited) every available degree of freedom, and even commercial systems now utilize multiplexing in time, wavelength,
more » ... on, and phase to speed more information through the fibre infrastructure. Conspicuously, one potentially enormous source of improvement has however been left untapped in these systems: fibres can easily support hundreds of spatial modes, but today's commercial systems (single-mode or multi-mode) make no attempt to use these as parallel channels for independent signals.
doi:10.1038/nphoton.2013.94 fatcat:egdr65aduzgrjmea5zx5esdwji