Payne, D.N. and Laming, R.I.
Progress towards the ultimate erbium-doped fibre amplifier.
Optical Fiber Communications (OFC '92), San Jose, US,
03 - 07 Feb 1992.
The erbium-doped fibre amplifier (EDFA) has developed at a startling speed since its announcement in 1987. The EDFA is now established as a key component for future high-speed, silica-based optical fibre communication networks operating at a wavelength of 1.55µm. Its major attributes are high gain, high efficiency, low noise and potential multichannel operation with low interchannel crosstalk. Expected applications are as fibre power-amplifiers in transmission systems and distribution networks, as signal repeaters in point-to-point optical links, as fibre pre-amplifiers in amplifier/receiver combinations and as distributed fibre amplifiers for soliton propagation. As a result of its almost ideal amplifier performance and its wide applicability in telecommunications systems, the development of the amplifier as a component has been extremely rapid, to the point where today the EDFA can be considered as almost mature. Inevitably, therefore, further scope for major improvements is limited. However, there are a number of areas where enhanced performance may be expected in the future and which remain the subject of intensive worldwide investigation
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