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This letter describes a free-space optical fiber cross-connect that uses a pair of micromirror arrays to redirect optical beams from an input-fiber array to an output array. This confocal switch architecture is well suited for simultaneous switching of multiple wavelength channels. We show that confocal switches with low insertion loss, low crosstalk, and large port counts can be implemented with surface-micromachined mirror arrays, and we demonstrate a 2/spl times/2 single-mode (1550 nm) switch configuration with insertion loss of -4.2 dB and crosstalk of -50.5 dB. Our micromirror design has sufficient size and angular deflection for scaling to 32/spl times/32 ports.
Date of Publication: July 2000