- Blind channel estimation is critical for digital signal processing (DSP) compensation of optical fiber communications links. The overall channel consists of deterministic distortions such as chromatic dispersion, as well as random and time varying distortions including polarization mode dispersion and timing jitter. It is critical to obtain robust acquisition and tracking methods for estimating these distortions effects, which, in turn, can be compensated by means of DSP such as Maximum Likelihood Sequence Estimation (MLSE). Here, a novel blind estimation algorithm is developed, accompanied by inclusive mathematical modeling, and followed by extensive set of real time experiments that verify quantitatively its performance and convergence. The developed blind channel estimation is used as the basis of an MLSE receiver. The entire scheme is fully implemented in a 65nm CMOS Application Specific Integrated Circuit (ASIC). Experimental measurements and results are presented, including Bit Error Rate (BER) measurements, which demonstrate the successful data recovery by the MLSE ASIC under various channel conditions and distances.