Nonlinear interference noise (NLIN) is arguably the most important factor limiting the capacity of fiber-optic communication systems. It is customary to classify nonlinear phenomena as either intra-channel, or inter-channel. Intra-channel effects relate to the nonlinear distortions undergone by each of the WDM channels individually (i.e independently of the data transmitted over other WDM channels), whereas inter-channel effects are those that involve interference between different WDM channels. Since the nonlinear interference is related to the random data transmitted over the various channels it is customarily treated as noise. We refer to this noise as nonlinear interference noise or NLIN.
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