A strong trend in fiber-optic technology has been toward the development of higher capacity transmission systems with bit rates as high as 10 Gbit/s being recently demonstrated in the laboratory1 for long span length direct detection systems. Ultrahigh speed optical receivers are required for these systems as well as for future generation analog and coherent heterodyne systems. The design of wideband receivers presents a challenging problem, however, because of the simultaneous and generally conflicting requirements of high speed and low noise. We review the status and limitations of present-day state-of-the-art receiver technology and discuss some new approaches for designing ultrahigh speed, low noise receivers.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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