We review the recent progress of information theory in optical communications, and describe the current experimental results and associated advances in various individual technologies which increase the information capacity. We confirm the widely held belief that the reported capacities are approaching the fundamental limits imposed by signal-to-noise ratio and the distributed non-linearity of conventional optical fibres, resulting in the reduction in the growth rate of communication capacity. We also discuss the techniques which are promising to increase and/or approach the information capacity limit.
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- information rates
- modulation coding
- non-linear optics
- wavelength division multiplexing