Abstract

A new class of networks that is well suited for free-space photonic switching applications is described. These networks are known as extended generalized shuffle networks. It is shown that these networks can provide low blocking probabilities while requiring low hardware costs. In fact, if sufficient hardware is added to these networks, they become strictly nonblocking networks (with blocking probabilities equal to zero). The hardware cost of an extended generalized shuffle network can be modified to yield any desired blocking probability, so cost-effective designs are possible. In addition, it is shown that these networks are extremely fault tolerant, and they can also be designed to have high system availabilities. Because the networks can use various types of interconnections to connect the nodes and because the nodes can have various types of functionality, these networks also provide high degrees of flexibility that can be used to optimize a free-space photonic design. The design of extended generalized shuffle networks based on a particular node type that is easy to implement with symmetric self-electro-optic-effect devices is studied.

© 1992 Optical Society of America

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