Future IP over photonic networks will perform routing and switching in the optical layer. The goal of the IP over photonic networks is to provide packet switching services at rates much higher than electronic circuits can. In the current IP networks, electronic routers and gateways play key roles to transfer packet data. Routers forward traffic between networks and the forwarding decision is based on network layer information and routing tables. Photonic routers have been proposed for ultrafast photonic networking.1 On the other side, electronic gateways interconnect heterogeneous networks that use different protocols. Unlike conventional electronic gateways, pho-tonic gateway can provide format transparency to photonic network node.2 As shown in Fig. 1, pho-tonic gateway performs both data format conversion and data rate conversion in the optical layer. It converts multiplexing formats between optical time division multiplexing (OTDM), wavelength division multiplexing (WDM), and optical code division multiplexing (OCDM). We have reported a photonic gateway for multiplexing format conversions between OTDM and WDM.2 The photonic gateway also performs conversions of a high-speed packet to a low-speed packet (rate conversion).3

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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