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The Internet traffic is essentially increasing because the contents are more associated with video, a higher definition video, rather than just text or picture. In fact, next-generation television (TV) standards are being explored toward the so-called 8-k definition, or ultrahigh-definition TV (UHDTV) that requires a bandwidth more than 70 Gb/s for real-time transmission. In the long run, chunks of such video data will eventually prevail over the network, and this trend would ensure a persistent traffic growth for the next decades to come. However, we will point out that the present IP-based technology cannot scale to the increasing traffic for the future mostly due to energy-consumption limits and will become a grave bottleneck for the sustainable growth of the traffic. We will then argue that the only promising solution for this would be the utilization of optical circuit switching, potentially having a few digits better energy efficiency than the present IP-router-based network. As specific implications, we are proposing the concept of the dynamic optical-path network (DOPN). We discuss how to scale the DOPN to the WAN, and show that an extremely green optical network for video-related services is possible at a clean-slate level. Then, we argue that DOPN will be first applied to LANs for broadcasting stations where a technology for scalable network interface cards are essential to accommodate the real-time UHDTV transmissions. Finally, we will briefly introduce our recent demonstration of UHDTV video transmissions using the optical time-division multiplexing based on integratable ultrafast optical devices only.
Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of (Volume:17 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: March-April 2011