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A random-access protocol for an optical direct-detection code-division-multiple-access (CDMA) packet network is proposed. This protocol is called a round-robin receiver/transmitter (R3T) protocol. A mathematical description of the protocol is presented using a detailed state diagram. Several performance measures, namely, steady-state system throughput, protocol efficiency, and average packet delay, are derived based on the equilibrium point-analysis technique. The effect of several design parameters on the above performance measures have been examined with the aid of a set of numerical examples. In our numerical calculations chip-level models have been adopted at the receiver side. Our results reveal that an efficiency of more than 90% can be reached easily with mild system parameters. Further an asymptotic efficiency of ≈ 100% is also achievable.