Abstract

The never-ending growth of the bandwidth of the internet applications needs higher-throughput and very flexible switching nodes in the backbone network. Optical techniques can meet this requirement by the way of optical packet switches (OPS) handling efficiently the burstiness of such data traffic. Located in the core of the network, they allow the optimization of the resources utilization. Optical packet switching is all the more attractive as the speed of packet increases, and 40 Gbit/s packet processing is clearly one of the trends followed by the router market within three years. But 40 Gbit/s also requires expensive 40 Gbit/s transmission interfaces, still at the edge of current electronic technology. One way of overcoming this problem is to group packets together and switch them optically as a single entity, making the most of the advantages of both optics and electronics. We call this group a WDM-packet. Using this concept this paper describes an original setup to reach a 2.56 Tbit/s whole capacity OPS switching groups of 4 channels modulated at 10 Gbit/s. Such a process increases the granularity while keeping a fair bit-rate compliant with the current technology such as a 10 Gbit/s burst mode receiver.1 After an overview of the architecture of the OPS we address more precisely the switching stage dedicated to the WDM-packet. Then, a first experimental validation is presented.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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References

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