Abstract

We use nonlinear optical bistable devices to design a prototype of a building block for an all-optical multistage interconnection network architecture. This architecture is flexible in the sense that it can be used for either circuit-switched interconnection networks or packet-switched interconnection networks, depending on the user’s applications and type of network architecture. Therefore this is a general-purpose all-optical switch that is applicable to almost all types of network such as omega, banyan, perfect shuffle, etc. The system consists of several design units, each of which is described separately, and then all are synthesized together to form the complete system. When used with the packet-switched networks, the system is capable of buffering information optically with no need for electronic backup. The main functions of the architecture are achieved by the use of a nonlinear optical bistable device, namely, the interference filter (with the addition of mirrors and beam splitters). These optical components are commercially available. They can also be integrated for future mass production. Therefore we anticipate that the implementation of this architecture is feasible.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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