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We discuss the introduction/implementation of optical IP routers, then we introduce a novel scheduling algorithm incorporating void filling and aimed at optical routing of asynchronous, variable packet length packets. We describe its structure and discuss the complexity issues. Albeit introduced with the purpose of cancelling expensive optical synchronization, we argue that this approach represents the most viable all-optical approach for implementing packets-over-SONET (IP-centric scenario). We also present simulations under self-similar traffic conditions which point to the inefficiency of optical buffering to combat the effects of self-similarity, and we outline alternative strategies for proper buffer dimensioning.