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The rapid growth of the Internet traffic demand is bringing the current electronic switches closer to their intrinsic technological limits, which may be overcome by optical technologies. Although optical packet switching has been widely studied in academia; the limited processing and buffering capabilities available in the optical domain makes the implementation of an all optical packet switch difficult in practice. We considered a hybrid (electro/optic) switching architecture, relying on an all-optical switching fabric, aiming to understanding the tradeoffs between current photonic and electronic technologies. We consider both the classical fixed-size synchronous paradigm and the asynchronous operation mode, which may suit better to the optical technologies. Buffers organized according to either an electronic FIFO (First Input First Output) paradigm or a photonic FDL (Fiber Delay Line) mechanism are analyzed and compared.
Date of Conference: 22-24 June 2009