With increasing demand on Internet use and data transmission capacity, the line rates in terrestrial systems are expected to reach 40 Gb/s while maintaining typical terrestrial span lengths of 80 to 100 km.1–4 In addition to accumulation of amplifier noise and fiber nonlinear effects, dispersion tolerance is another major challenge for 40 Gb/s wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) systems. For instance, a 30 ps/nm dispersion variation results in a 1-dB penalty for 40-Gb/s non-return-to-zero (NRZ) signals in optically amplified systems.2 Tight dispersion tolerance requirements, combined with the residual dispersion slope present at the end of the system, make per-band or per-channel dispersion compensation imperative, 4 significantly increasing the system complexity and cost. Therefore, it is desirable to achieve low residual dispersion slope in a 40 Gb/s link without introducing system impairments.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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