Extinction ratio

Eye diagram showing an example of two power levels in an OOK modulation scheme which can be used to calculate extinction ratio. P1 and P0 are represented by (binary '1') and (binary '0') respectively.

In telecommunications, extinction ratio (re) is the ratio of two optical power levels of a digital signal generated by an optical source, e.g., a laser diode. The extinction ratio may be expressed as a fraction, in dB, or as a percentage.[1] It may be given by


where P1 is the optical power level generated when the light source is on, and P0 is the power level generated when the light source is off.

The polarization extinction ratio (PER) is the ratio of optical powers of perpendicular polarizations, usually called TE (transverse electrical) and TM (transverse magnetic). In telecommunications, the PER is used to characterize the degree of polarization in a polarization maintaining device or fiber. For coherent transmitter and receiver, the PER is a key parameter since X-polarization and Y-polarization are coded with different signals.


  1. "Extinction Ratio". Timbercon. Retrieved May 14, 2009.
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