Dynamically Reconfigurable Optical Buffer and Multicast-Enabled Switch Fabric for Optical Packet Switching
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Optical packet switching (OPS) is one of the more promising solutions for meeting the diverse needs of broadband networking applications of the future. By virtue of its small data traffic granularity as well as its nanoseconds switching speed, OPS can be used to provide connection-oriented or connectionless services for different groups of users with very different networking requirements. The optical buffer and the switch fabric are two of the most important components in an OPS router. In this research, novel designs for the optical buffer and switch fabric are proposed and experimentally demonstrated. In particular, an optical buffer that is based on a folded-path delay-line tree architecture will be discussed. This buffer is the most compact non-recirculating optical delay line buffer to date, and it uses an array of high-speed ON-OFF optical reflectors to dynamically reconfigure its delay within several nanoseconds. A major part of this research is devoted to the design and performance optimization of these high-speed reflectors. Simulations and measurements are used to compare different reflector designs as well as to determine their optimal operating conditions. Another important component in the OPS router is the switch fabric, and it is used to perform space switching for the optical packets. Optical switch fabrics are used to overcome the limitations imposed by conventional electronic switch fabrics: high power consumption and dependency on the modulation format and bit-rate of the signals. Currently, only those fabrics that are based on the broadcast-and-select architecture can provide truly non-blocking multicast services to all input ports. However, a major drawback of these fabrics is that they are implemented using a large number of optical gates based on semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOA). This results in large component count and high energy consumption. In this research, a new multicast-capable switch fabric which does not require any SOA gates is proposed. This fabric relies on a passive all-optical gate that is based on the Four-wave mixing (FWM) wavelength conversion process in a highly-nonlinear fiber. By using this new switch architecture, a significant reduction in component count can be expected.
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Chowdhury, Arshad M. (Georgia Institute of Technology, 2006-11-20)Optical packet switching (OPS) is the most prominent candidate transport solution that can seamlessly integrate electrical and optical layers by transferring certain switching functionality from electronics to optics, thus ...
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