Discrete-Fourier transform (DFT) based offset quadrature amplitude modulation (offset-QAM) orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM) without cyclic prefix (CP) was shown to offer a dispersion tolerance the same as that of conventional OFDM with ~20% CP overhead. In this paper, we analytically study the fundamental mechanism limiting the dispersion tolerance of this conventional scheme. It is found that the signal and the crosstalk from adjacent subcarriers, which are orthogonal with π/2 phase difference at back to back, can be in-phase when the dispersion increases to a certain value. We propose a novel scheme to overcome this limitation and significantly improve the dispersion tolerance to that of one subcarrier. Simulations show that the proposed scheme can support a 224-Gb/s polarization-division-multiplexed offset-4QAM OFDM signal over 160,000 ps/nm without any CP under 128 subcarriers, and this tolerance scales with the square of the number of subcarriers. It is also shown that this scheme exhibits advantages of greatly enhanced spectral efficiency, larger dispersion tolerance, and/or reduced complexity compared to the conventional CP-OFDM and reduced-guard-interval OFDM using frequency domain equalization.
© 2015 Optical Society of America
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