Scope and objectives

MUSICO – « Advanced Multi-Dimensional Signaling and M-ary Coding for Optical Fiber Networks » is a 3-year national collaborative project funded by the French National Agency of Research (ANR).

Starting date: January 2018
Partners: ETIS/ENSEA, Nokia Bell Labs, IRIT/ENSEEIHT
Team: 3 permanent researchers, 2 PhD students

Optical fiber constitutes the backbone of the modern information networks. Not only it has been used to communicate massive amounts of data at remarkably high data rates between continents and to interconnect cities, but upcoming digital services involving cloud computing and virtualization (e.g., 5G or FinTech) are likely to heavily rely on a new class of optical products. Therefore, the further development of optical technologies is motivated by two facts: 1) the predicted exponential growth of the current traffic (hundreds of thousands of petabytes in 2016) which will require to significantly increase the capacity of commercial long-range (terrestrial and long-haul) networks, and 2) emergence of new markets for short range optical communications such as for instance Data Center Interconnections (DCI). To meet and anticipate these needs, it is paramount to develop optical transmission devices that 1) would bring a significantly increase in performance (latency, capacity, cost) to existing ones and/or 2) would be efficient for new applications. In a competitive industrial landscape, where cost and time-to-market are important aspects, it is key to combine world-class academic and industrial expertise in a complementary way. The goal is to further develop cutting-edge technologies, drive future innovations, maintain and/or increase a leadership in optical communications. In particular, a major upcoming challenge concerns future Digital Signal Processing (DSP) for of optical transceivers. Algorithms are required to operate in a close-to-capacity regime over a very complex optical channel with severe complexity requirements. Such a technological breakthrough can only be obtained using advanced signaling methods tailored to the needs of optical communications. The MUSICO project aims at providing modern DSP solutions for the next generation of ultra-efficient and agile optical fiber networks by focusing on the high-dimensionality.