Abstract

We investigate a possible extension of the optically connected parallel machine crossbar system to telecommunication routing–switching systems. The critical issue concerns the realization of a free-space interconnection system between two single-mode fiber arrays in the case of a fully interconnected architecture, such as a crossbar system. In particular, we assess the throughput capability of such a system. This evaluation is based on both theoretical analysis and experimental results. We demonstrate that the number of channels is severely constrained by the limited numerical aperture of a single-mode fiber. Finally, we discuss some architectural alternatives and propose some technical recommendations for interconnecting single-mode fiber arrays in free space.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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