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Optical switching technology comparison: optical MEMS vs. other technologies

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2 Author(s)
Xiaohua Ma ; Beijing Univ. of Posts & Telecommun., China ; Kuo, G.-S.

Optical switching technologies are very crucial to future mobile broadband all-optical IP networks. Many different optical switching technologies are currently available or under development. The main purpose of the article is to conduct performance comparisons on optical switching technologies in terms of basic performance, network requirements, and system requirements based on a literature survey. The technologies include switching based on optical microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), thermal optical switching, electro-optic switching, and acousto-optic switching technologies. Each optical switching technology has unique performance characteristics specific to the utilized optical phenomena. It might be crucial to integrate some technologies together to achieve a better solution for optical switching. Optical switching is a very hot topic attracting much research effort. Optical MEMS-based switching technology might be one of the most promising approaches at present. Many new optical switching technologies might be created in the near future. Through the impact of nanotechnology, some innovative approaches to optical switching might emerge.

Published in:

Communications Magazine, IEEE  (Volume:41 ,  Issue: 11 )

Date of Publication:

Nov. 2003

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