We examine the effects of encoder and decoder mismatch due to wavelength and time chip misalignments on the bit-error rate (BER) performance of two-dimensional (2D) wavelength–time optical code-division multiple access systems. We investigate several instances of misalignment in the desired user encoder and decoder as well as in the interfering user encoders. Our simulation methodology can be used to analyze any type of 2D wavelength–time code family as well as probability distribution for misalignment. For illustration purposes, we consider codes generated by use of the depth-first search algorithm and a Gaussian distribution for the misalignment. Our simulation results show that, in the case of a misalignment in either wavelength or time chip, the variance of the distribution for the misalignment must be below 0.01 for the corresponding degradation in the BER system’s performance to be less than 1 order of magnitude compared with that when there is no mismatch between the encoders and decoders. The tolerances become even more strict when misalignments in both wavelength and time chips are considered. Furthermore, our results show that the effect of misalignment in wavelength (time chips) is the same regardless of the number of wavelengths (time chips) used in the codes.
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