A high-performance electrical asynchronous transfer mode (ATM) switching system is described with the goal of Tb/s ATM switching. The first step system was to use advanced Si-Bipolar very large scale integrated (VLSI) technologies and the multichip technique. 1.0 \mum Bipolar SST technologies and Cu-Polyimide multilayer MCM realized a 160 Gb/s throughput ATM system. The performance limitations of the 160 Gb/s system were power supply/cooling and module interconnection. The new ATM switching system, named OPTIMA-1, adopted optical interconnection/distribution to overcome the limitations and achieve 640 Gb/s. The system uses high-performance complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) devices and optical wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) interconnection. Combining OPTIMA-1 with optical cell-by-cell routing functions, i.e., photonic packet routing, can realize variable bandwidth links for 5 Tb/s ATM systems. This paper first reviews high-performance electrical ATM (packet) switching system architecture and hardware technologies. In addition, system limitations are described. Next, the important breakthrough technology of optical WDM interconnection is highlighted. These technologies are adopted to form OPTIMA-1, a prototype of which is demonstrated. The key technologies of the system are advanced 80 Gb/s CMOS/MCM, electrical technologies, and 10 Gb/s, 8 WDM, 8\;\times\;8 optical interconnection. Details of implementation technologies are also described. Optical cell-by-cell (packet-by-packet) routing is now being studied. From the architectural viewpoint, dynamic link bandwidth sharing will be adopted. In addition, an AWG that performs cell-by-cell routing and a distributed large scale ATM system are realized. Optical routing achieves the 5 Tb/s needed in future B-ISDN ATM backbone systems.
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