Optical preamplifiers have been predicted to provide very high receiver sensitivity in high-speed lightwave systems.1 Olsson and Garbinski2 have demonstrated a preamplifier sensitivity of 420 photons/bit at 500 Mbit/s, which is approximately equal to the best APD receiver results at a comparable bit rate,3 and obtained a sensitivity at 4 Gbit/s of 730 photons/bit,4 which is 1.9 dB better than the best reported APD result.3 As it is expected that the improvement over APD receivers will be greater at higher bit rates, we have conducted a receiver sensitivity experiment using a 1.3-μm traveling-wave optical preamplifier at a bit rate of 8 Gbit/s.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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