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Integrated Photonics for Low-Power Packet Networking

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24 Author(s)
Blumenthal, D.J. ; Univ. of California, Santa Barbara, CA, USA ; Barton, J. ; Beheshti, N. ; Bowers, J.E.
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Communications interconnects and networks will continue to play a large role in contributing to the global carbon footprint, especially in data center and cloud-computing applications exponential growth in capacity. Key to maximizing the benefits of photonics technology is highly functional, lower power, and large-scale photonics integration. In this paper, we report on the latest advances in the photonic integration technologies used for asynchronous optical packet switching using an example photonic integrated switched optical router, the label switched optical router architecture. We report measurements of the power consumed by the photonic circuits in performing their intended function, the electronics required to bias the photonics, processing electronics, and required cooling technology. Data is presented to show that there is room (potentially greater than 10 ×) for improvement in the router packet-forwarding plane. The purpose of this exercise is not to provide a comparison of all-optical versus electronic routers, rather to present a data point on actual measurements of the power contributions for various photonic integration technologies of an all-optical packet router that has been demonstrated and conclude, where the technology can move to reduce power consumption for high-capacity packet routing systems.

Published in:

Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:17 ,  Issue: 2 )

Date of Publication:

March-April 2011

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