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The paper describes the progress in the research, design, and development of an all-optical router for the optical switching of packets in Cartesian networks (a novel network akin to mesh networks). The importance of all-optical packet switching/routing for convergent, next generation transport network is described. The selection of Cartesian routing as the basic routing methodology for all-optical packets is justified. The photonic packet switch/router architecture is studied in detail. Various design issues related to an all-optical node, such as header synchronization, header processing and optical buffering have been addressed. The functionality modelling of optical components and optical switch/router simulation algorithms are presented as well.