Laurent Schmalen

Spatially Coupled Codes in Optical Communications: Technology for the Physical Layer and Beyond?


In this talk, we first review the use of spatially coupled LDPC codes in optical communications and show some of their benefits, including FPGA-based simulations verifying their outstanding error floor performance. We then highlight some recent results on their burst correction capabilities and then show how a very simple MAC protocol can benefit from the use of spatially coupled LDPC codes.


Laurent Schmalen received both his Dipl.-Ing. degree in electrical engineering and information technology and his Dr.-Ing. degree from the RWTH Aachen University of Technology. In 2011, he joined Bell Labs as a member of technical staff where he now heads the department of coding in optical communications within the Smart Network Fabric research lab. He is a two-time recipient of the Friedrich-Wilhelm award, and received the E-Plus award for his PhD thesis. He furthermore received the best paper award of the 2010 ITG Speech Communication Conference, the 2013 best student paper award at the IEEE Signal Processing Systems (SiPS) workshop and the 2014 IEEE Transactions on Communications Exemplary Reviewer Award. Since 2014, Dr. Schmalen also serves as guest lecturer at the University of Stuttgart. His research interests include forward error correction and modulation formats for future optical networks.