High data rate coverage, security, and energy efficiency will play a key role in the continued performance scaling of next-generation mobile systems. Dense, small mobile cells based on a novel network architecture are part of the answer.
Motivated by the recent mounting interest in free-space optical (FSO) technologies, this paper addresses a novel mobile fronthaul network architecture based on FSO, spread spectrum codes, and graphene modulators for the creation of dense small cells.
The network uses an energy-efficient graphene modulator to send data bits to be coded with spread codes for achieving higher security before their transmission to remote units via high-speed FSO transmitters. Analytical results show the new fronthaul mobile network can accommodate up to 32 remote antennas under error-free transmissions with forward error correction. Furthermore, the modulator is optimized to provide maximum efficiency in terms of energy consumption per bit.
The optimization procedure is carried out by optimizing both the amount of graphene used on the ring resonator and the modulator’s design. The optimized graphene modulator is used in the new fronthaul network and requires as low as 4.6 fJ/bit while enabling high-speed performance up to 42.6 GHz and remarkably using one-quarter of graphene only.
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