Soliton-based ultra-high speed optical communications
Multi-terabit/s, ultra-high speed optical transmissions over several thousands kilometers on fibers are becoming a reality. Most use RZ (Return to Zero) format in dispersion-managed fibers. This format is the only stable waveform in the presence of fiber Kerr nonlinearity and dispersion in all optical transmission lines with loss compensated by periodic amplifications. The nonlinear Schrödinger equation assisted by the split step numerical solutions is commonly used as the master equation to describe the information transfer in optical fibers. All these facts are the outcome of research on optical solitons in fibers in spite of the fact that the commonly used RZ format is not always called a soliton format. The overview presented here attempts to incorporate the role of soliton-based communications research in present day ultra-high speed communications.