Characterization of energy-efficient and colorless ONUs for future TWDM-PONs

Elaine Wong, Michael Mueller, Markus C. Amann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The Full Services Access Network group has recently selected the time and wavelength division multiplexed passive optical network (TWDM-PON) as the base technology solution for next-generation PON stage-2 (NG-PON2). Meeting the core requirements of NG-PON2 necessitates the following additional features in the transceivers of the optical network unit (ONU) that is located at subscriber premises: (a) legacy system compliant; (b) wavelength tunable; (c) cost-efficient; and (d) energy-efficient. To address these features, we investigate the properties of short-cavity vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (SC-VCSELs) for implementation as colorless ONU transmitters in future TWDM-PONs. Specifically, we investigate the tunability and transmission performance of the SC-VCSEL across the C-minus wavelength band for legacy system compliance. We report on error-free transmission across a 800 GHz tuning range with a potential aggregate upstream capacity of 80 Gbps over a system reach of 40 km and with a split ratio of 1:128 per wavelength channel. Results were achieved without dispersion compensation and electronic equalization. We also evaluate the energy efficiency of the SCVCSEL in active, doze, and sleep mode. When in active mode, the SCVCSEL transmitter block consumes 91.7% less power than a distributed feedback (DFB) laser transmitter block. When transitioning between doze and active modes, the transmitter block has a short settling time of only 205 ns, thus increasing the power-saving duration and consequently reducing the overall power consumption of the ONU. Through numerical analysis, evaluation of the energy-savings of the SC-VCSEL ONU over the DFB ONU under various modes of operation, demonstrates up to 84% of energysavings. The capacity, tuning range, split ratio, system reach, and energysavings arising from SC-VCSEL ONU implementation as reported in this work, exceed the minimum requirements of NG-PON2 for future TWDMPON deployments.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20747-20761
Number of pages15
JournalOptics Express
Issue number18
StatePublished - 9 Sep 2013


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