Welcome to the Optical Communications Laboratory at the University of Southern California.  Led by Professor Alan E. Willner, this research lab is a member of the Communications Sciences Institute within the Department of Electrical Engineering - Systems at USC.

Fondly called "OC Lab," our research group focuses on a wide range of topics in optical fiber communications.  Our research interests include combating fiber-induced signal impairments arising from nonlinearities, chromatic dispersion and polarization mode dispersion.  We also pursue research in the areas of all-optical networking functions, novel applications of RF subcarrier & OFDM transmissions, advanced modulation formats, optical signal processing,  slow light and micoring resonators.  The group presents papers each year at the Optical Fiber Communications conference (OFC),  European Conference on Optical Communi-cations (ECOC), and Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (CLEO).  In addition, we publish articles in journals, such as IEEE Photonics Technology Letters (PTL), IEEE/OSA Journal of Lightwave Technology (JLT), Optics Letters, Optics Express and so forth.


The Optical Communications Laboratory at USC features over 2,500 square feet of space, with high-performance capabilities for high-speed experiments on integrated-photonic devices. Our capabilities enable us to carry out systems experiments using the interconnect devices for WDM links and >160-Gbit/s data rate. Additionally our measurement equipment enables us to characterize the integrity of signals due to various devices (lasers, filters, modulators, waveguides, receivers), including measurements of bit error rate, operation bandwidth, crosstalk, chirp, polarization dependent loss, birefringence, and tuning speed.

Our equipment includes:

A.  High-speed transmission    system

B.  System measurement and test equipment

C.  Optical signal processing facilities

    40~640 Gbit/s data systems

     >40-Gbit/s optical modulators and receivers

      Optical multiplexers to 640-Gbit/s

      10~45-GHz detectors and coherent detection sets

      20 Erbium-doped fiber amplifiers

     Tunable WDM laser sources

      12.5 and 55 Gbit/s bit-error-rate (BER) test sets

      >50-GHz digitizing oscilloscopes

      Optical spectrum analyzers

     50-GHz RF spectrum analyzers

         Network analyzer

         CD and chirpform analyzer


       Tunable bandwidth & wavelength optical filters and optical waveshaper

      Semiconductor optical amplifiers

      Periodic poled Lithium Niobate waveguides

      2x2 optical space switches

      HNLF-based optical wavelength converters


D.  Signal degradation emulations

E.  Simulation and modeling tools

F.  Long-haul loops

     Various types of fiber spools

      Polarization-mode dispersion emulators

     >30 dB high power EDFAs

      Polarization analyzers and controllers

       Rsoft Optsim,       Optiwave

       VPI Systems




      Recirculating loops



Our research would not be possible without the generous support of several companies and government organizations. We would like to thank DARPA (InPho and iPhod Programs), NSF CIAN Program, Cisco, HP, GigOptiX, Intel, and the Packard Foundation for the invaluable contributions that they make to our laboratory.


The laboratory is located in the basement of the Hughes Aircraft Electrical Engineering Building (EEB) in rooms B20,B22 and B24.

Main Tel.  (213) 740-1488
Tel. 2  (213) 740-0024
Tel. 3  (213) 740-4142
Fax  (213) 740-8729
    Mailing Address:
EEB 500
3740 McClintock Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90089-2565

Maps of the USC campus may be downloaded from the USC maps web page.

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