Convergence of millimeter-wave and photonic interconnect systems for very-high-throughput digital communication applications
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In the past, radio-frequency signals were commonly used for low-speed wireless electronic systems, and optical signals were used for multi-gigabit wired communication systems. However, as the emergence of new millimeter-wave technology introduces multi-gigabit transmission over a wireless radio-frequency channel, the borderline between radio-frequency and optical systems becomes blurred. As a result, there come ample opportunities to design and develop next-generation broadband systems to combine the advantages of these two technologies to overcome inherent limitations of various broadband end-to-end interconnect systems in signal generation, recovery, synchronization, and so on. For the transmission distances of a few centimeters to thousands of kilometers, the convergence of radio-frequency electronics and optics to build radio-over-fiber systems ushers in a new era of research for the upcoming very-high-throughput broadband services. Radio-over-fiber systems are believed to be the most promising solution to the backhaul transmission of the millimeter-wave wireless access networks, especially for the license-free, very-high-throughput 60-GHz band. Adopting radio-over-fiber systems in access or in-building networks can greatly extend the 60-GHz signal reach by using ultra-low loss optical fibers. However, such high frequency is difficult to generate in a straightforward way. In this dissertation, the novel techniques of homodyne and heterodyne optical-carrier suppressions for radio-over-fiber systems are investigated and various system architectures are designed to overcome these limitations of 60-GHz wireless access networks, bringing the popularization of multi-gigabit wireless networks to become closer to the reality. In addition to the advantages for the access networks, extremely high spectral efficiency, which is the most important parameter for long-haul networks, can be achieved by radio-over-fiber signal generation. As a result, the transmission performance of spectrally efficient radio-over-fiber signaling, including orthogonal frequency division multiplexing and orthogonal wavelength division multiplexing, is broadly and deeply investigated. On the other hand, radio-over-fiber is also used for the frequency synchronization that can resolve the performance limitation of wireless interconnect systems. A novel wireless interconnects assisted by radio-over-fiber subsystems is proposed in this dissertation. In conclusion, multiple advantageous facets of radio-over-fiber systems can be found in various levels of end-to-end interconnect systems. The rapid development of radio-over-fiber systems will quickly change the conventional appearance of modern communications.