A survey of key-enabling components for remote millimetric wave generation in radio over fibernetworks
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Radio over fiber systems have emerged as a cost effective solution for future multigigabit wireless networks operating at millimetric bands. Such networks are composed of three subsystems: central station, optical distribution network, and base stations, whose performance and architecture rely on key-enabling components. This issue is particularly significant for components located at the central station since it is there where the downlink optical signal is generated, which after detection in a simple base station, results in the desired mm-wave signal. This paper reviews the state-of-the-art components required in the most relevant remote mm-wave generation techniques, such as high-speed analog lasers, broad-bandwidth modulators, multiwavelength sources, and narrow-linewidth lasers, giving special attention to their performance in terms of reconfigurability, energy efficiency, and integrability. The different technologies for each key-enabling component are presented and compared, proposing the most promising candidates and some future research opportunities. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.