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A low-loss and high-extinction-ratio silica-based 16/spl times/16 thermooptic matrix switch is demonstrated. The switch, which employs a double Mach-Zehnder interferometer switching unit and a matrix arrangement which reduces the total waveguide length, is fabricated with 0.75% refractive index difference waveguides on a 6-in silicon wafer. The average insertion loss and the average extinction ratio are 6.6 and 55 dB, respectively. The total power consumption is 17 W.