Plane-to-plane guided-wave-based interconnection modules are proposed as building blocks for scalable optoelectronic multistage interconnection networks (MINs). This approach leads naturally to a MIN paradigm based not on cascading switching stages containing several size-reduced crossbars, as in the shuffle-exchange (SE) networks, but on cascading permutation-reduced crossbars instead, one per stage. The interest of such an architecture lies in the control simplicity and scalability potential. Transparent circuit switching for permutation routing is possible in such an unbuffered"globally switched"multistage interconnection network (GSMIN). Preliminary experiments using fiber-based interconnection modules are presented. Performance analysis and simulation of a buffered GSMIN is also studied for packet routing purposes.
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