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Optical-layer crossconnects with high port count appear to be emerging as key elements for provisioning and restoration in future wavelength-division-multiplexed networks. We demonstrate here a means of achieving high-density optical crossconnects utilizing free-space micromachined optical switches that exploit connection-symmetry in core-transport networks. The micromachined polygon switches proposed here are strictly nonblocking. Measured insertion losses of 3.1-3.5 dB for a 16/spl times/16 (8/spl times/8 bidirectional) switch suggest the promise of scaling to large port count.