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Switching technologies for future guided wave optical networks: potentials and limitations of photonics and electronics

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3 Author(s)
L. Thylen ; R. Inst. of Technol., Stockholm, Sweden ; G. Karlsson ; O. Nilsson

The continued rapid progress in the deployment of fiber optics communications has led to widespread interest in employing photonics to implement switching functions, hitherto reserved for electronics. Significant research effort has been devoted to this, and different specialized concepts have been suggested and partly demonstrated, albeit not in the field. At the same time, mainstream research and development in the area of telecommunications switching is solidly based on electronics. In this article we first give a short introduction to photonic switching. We then discuss generic switching functions in telecommunications networks with a view of the possible role of photonics, and discuss the implementation of the switching functions from a photonics and electronics point of view. We then apply this reasoning to look at scaling and transparency of all-optical networks based on our current research

Published in:

IEEE Communications Magazine  (Volume:34 ,  Issue: 2 )