EECS 383: Fiber-Optic Communications

Quarter Offered

Winter : 2-3:20 MW ; Yuen


EECS 224


Introduction to fiber-optic communications. Semiconductor diode lasers, internal modulation, electro-optic modulation, coherent and incoherent detection, optical fibers and their properties, optical amplifiers, communication systems, and optical networks.

REQUIRED TEXT: Govind P. Agrawal, Fiber-Optic Communication Systems, John Wiley & Sons, Third edition (2002)

INSTRUCTOR: Prof. Horace Yuen


COURSE GOALS: To introduce students to the field of fiber-optic communication.


  • Communication link: overview
  • Optical fiber characteristics: modes, loss, dispersion, nonlinearities
  • Transmitters: directly modulated semiconductor lasers, external modulation
  • Receivers: photodiodes, avalanche photodetectors
  • System design and performance: bit-error rate, signal-to-noise ratio
  • Optical amplifiers: Erbium-doped fiber amplifiers, Rmaan amplifiers
  • Dispersion management and WDM systems

COMPUTER USAGE: Incidental use of MATLAB, Mathematica, or equivalent.

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENTS: Homework will reinforce concepts learned in class.


  • 30% Homework
  • 20% Midterm
  • 50% Final Exam  

COURSE OBJECTIVES: Fiber-optic communication is at the core of contemporary high-tech and will remain so in the future. When a student completes this course, he/she should be able to:

  • Understand the functionality of each of the components that comprise a fiber-optic communication system: transmitter, fiber, amplifier, and receiver.
  • Understand the properties of optical fiber that affect the performance of a communication link.
  • Understand to differentiate between direct modulation and external electro-optic modulation.
  • Understand basic optical amplifier operation and its effect on signal power and noise in the system.
  • Apply concepts listed above to the design of a basic communication link.

ABET CONTENT CATEGORY: 100% Engineering (Design component).