Split-step digital backward propagation (DBP) can be combined with coherent detection to compensate for fiber nonlinear impairments. A large number of DBP steps is usually needed for a long-haul fiber system, and this creates a heavy computational load. In a trade-off between complexity and performance, interchannel nonlinearity can be disregarded in order to simplify the DBP algorithm. The number of steps can also be reduced at the expense of performance. In periodic dispersion-managed long-haul transmission systems, optical waveform distortion is dominated by chromatic dispersion. As a result, the nonlinearity of the optical signal repeats in every dispersion period. Because of this periodic behavior, DBP of many fiber spans can be folded into one span. Using this distance-folded DBP method, the required computation for a transoceanic transmission system with full inline dispersion compensation can be reduced by up to two orders of magnitude with negligible penalty. The folded DBP method can be modified to compensate for nonlinearity in fiber links with non-zero residual dispersion per span.
coherent fiber communication; nonlinearity compensation; folded digital backward propagation