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Grasping all-optical switching in transparent network

02 Oct 2015  | Jin-Wei Tioh, Mani Mina, Robert J. Weber, Jin-Ning Tioh

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Assuming the absence of an input wave at port 2, the outputs at the interferometer ports can be expressed as in (Eq. 3). When no field is applied (ΘF = 0°), the input wave is returned to port 1 with a 90° phase shift. Applying a field of sufficient magnitude (ΘF = 90°) redirects the input wave to port 2.

As shown in figure 7, a switching time of 700ns was achieved with a field intensity of 3.58kA/m. This is markedly better than that of the MZI switch (2ms with 12.7kA/m). However, it can still be improved since, in principle, the achievable switching speed depends on the velocity of the domain walls, which has been measured to be on the order of 10km/s. [38]

Figure 7: Implementation overview of the Sagnac switch.

Possible approaches to improve switch performance would employ different coil geometries and driver configurations. Both concepts have been recently explored by the authors and show very promising results [34-36], with risetime reductions to 77ns and falltime reductions to 129ns demonstrated.

Concluding remarks
An overview of the trends and issues of modern optical communications systems is reported. Transparent network components that perform basic functions (routing, switching, and multiplexing) are the keys to enabling more reliable, scalable, and richly connected optical networks. Some of the latest developments in small-scale, high-speed switching for all-optical lightpath applications are also presented and discussed. Experimental results of the newly implemented switches at Iowa State University are shown.

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About the authors
Jin-Wei Tioh, Mani Mina, Robert J. Weber and Jin-Ning Tioh are with Maxim Integrated.

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