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Silicon Photonics by Roy Rubenstein, Daryl Inniss

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Appendix 1

Optical Communications Primer

A1.1 Optical Links

Communication systems involve the sending of information—typically electrical signals carrying digital data—between two points. Even for optical communication, which uses fiber to carry information in the form of light, electrical signals are first converted to optical ones before transmission, and converted back from optical to electrical at the receiver.

Communication is either unidirectional, known as simplex, or bidirectional (duplex). If both directions operate simultaneously, it is known as full-duplex [1].

For simplex communications, a transmitter is used at one end of the link and a receiver at the other—one to send data and one to receive. When bidirectional communication is involved, ...

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