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Operating Fiber Networks in the Quantum Limit

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posted on 2023-01-12, 14:59 authored by Janis Nötzel, Matteo Rosati
We consider all-optical network evolution from a quantum perspective. We show that a use of optimal quantum receivers allows an estimated $55\%$ decrease in energy consumption of all-optical amplifiers in network configurations that are typical today. We then compare data transmission capacities of quantum receivers with today's technology operating within the boundaries set by Shannon. We find that quantum receiver technology allows for a logarithmic scaling of the system capacity with the baud-rate, while Shannon-type systems are limited by the transmit power. Thus a natural quantum limit of classical data transmission emerges. Based on the above findings we argue for a new approach to optical communication network design, wherein in-line amplifiers are replaced by novel fiber supporting high spectral bandwidth to allow for noiseless data transmission in the quantum limit.

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