Abstract

A novel optical interconnection is introduced for a multistage optical switching network that uses orthogonally polarized data and address information. The network is unique in that the data information is never regenerated and remains in optical form throughout (i.e., it is never converted into electrical information). This has two main consequences: (1) the bandwidth of the data is not restricted by electrical circuit considerations, and (2) the optical interconnections from one stage of the network to the next must be highly efficient. The interconnection meets several goals: high efficiency, preservation of cross polarization of data and address, low cross talk between polarizations, good manufacturability, resistance to misalignment caused by thermal expansion, and absence of significant aberrations. In addition, sychronization of the signals is maintained, as the optical path lengths for all routes through the system are equal.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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