Abstract

This paper presents an analysis of optical buffers based on slow-light optical delay lines. The focus of this paper is on slow-light delay lines in which the group velocity is reduced using linear processes, including electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT), population oscillations (POs), and microresonator-based photonic-crystal (PC) filters. We also consider slow-light delay lines in which the group velocity is reduced by an adiabatic process of bandwidth compression. A framework is developed for comparing these techniques and identifying fundamental physical limitations of linear slow-light technologies. It is shown that slow-light delay lines have limited capacity and delay-bandwidth product. In principle, the group velocity in slow-light delay lines can be made to approach zero. But very slow group velocity always comes at the cost of very low bandwidth or throughput. In many applications, miniaturization of the delay line is an important consideration. For all delay-line buffers, the minimum physical size of the buffer for a given number of buffered data bits is ultimately limited by the physical size of each stored bit. We show that in slow-light optical buffers, the minimum achievable size of 1 b is approximately equal to the wavelength of light in the buffer. We also compare the capabilities and limitations of a range of delay-line buffers, investigate the impact of waveguide losses on the buffer capacity, and look at the applicability of slow-light delay lines in a number of applications.

© 2005 IEEE

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Other

W. De Zhong and R. S. Tucker, "Wavelength routing-based photonic packet buffers and their applications in photonic packet switching systems", J. Lightw. Technol., vol. 16, no. 10, pp. 1737-1745, Oct. 1998.

S. Yao, B. Mukherjee and S. Dixit, "Advances in photonic packet switching: An overview", IEEE Commun. Mag., vol. 38, no. 2, pp. 84-94, Feb. 2000.

H. J. S. Dorren, et al. "Optical packet switching and buffering by using all-optical signal processing methods", J. Lightw. Technol., vol. 21, no. 1, pp. 2-12, Jan. 2003.

T. Sakamoto, A. Okada, M. Hirayama, Y. Sakai, O. Moriwaki, I. Ogawa, R. Sato, K. Noguchi and M. Matsuoka, "Optical packet synchronizer using wavelength and space switching", IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett., vol. 14, no. 9, pp. 1360-1362, Sep. 2002.

J. Spring and R. S. Tucker, "Photonic 2 × 2 packet switch with input buffers", Electron. Lett., vol. 29, no. 3, pp. 284-285, Feb. 4, 1993.

D. B. Hunter and R. A. Minasian, "Photonic signal processing of microwave signals using and active-fiber Bragg-grating-pair structure", IEEE Trans. Microw. Theory Tech., vol. 45, no. 8, pp. 1463-1466, Aug. 1977.

J. Capmany, J. Cascon, D. Pastor and B. Ortega, "Reconfigurable fiber-optic delay line filters incorporating electrooptic and electroabsorption modulators", IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett., vol. 11, no. 9, pp. 1174-1176, Sep. 1999.

W. D. Jemison, T. Yost and P. R. Herczfeld, "Acoustooptically controlled true time delays: Experimental results", IEEE Microw. Guided Wave Lett., vol. 6, no. 8, p. 283, Aug. 1996.

G. Appenzeller, N. McKeown, J. Sommers and P. Barford, "Recent results on sizing router buffers", in Proc. Network Systems Design Conf., San Diego, CA, Oct. 18-20 2004, p. 13.

"Cisco CRS-1 8-slot line-card chassis route processor", CISCO Data Sheet,, 2005.

T. P. Haraszti, CMOS Memory Circuits, Norwell, MA: Kluwer, 2000.

C. Liu, Z. Dutton, C. Behroozi and L. V. Hau, "Observation of coherent optical information storage in an atomic medium using halted light pulses", Nature, vol. 409, no. 6819, pp. 490-493, Jan. 25, 2001.

L. V. Hau, S. E. Harris, Z. Dutton and C. H. Behroozi, "Light speed reduction to 17 meters per second in an ultracold atomic gas", Nature, vol. 397, no. 6720, pp. 594-598, Feb. 18, 1999.

P. C. Ku, F. Sedgwich, C. Chang-Hasnain, P. Palinginis, T. Li, H. Wang, S. W. Chang and S. L. Chuang, "Slow light in semiconductor quantum wells", Opt. Lett., vol. 29, no. 19, pp. 2291-2293, 2004.

A. Turukhin, V. S. Sudarshanam, M. S. Shahriar, J. A. Musser and P. R. Hemmer, "First observation of ultraslow group velocity of light in a solid", in Tech. Dig., Quantum Electronics Laser Science Conf. (QELS), Baltimore, MD, May 6-11 2001, pp. 6-7.

A. Yariv, Y. Xu, R. K. Lee and A. Scherer, "Coupled-resonator optical waveguide: A proposal and analysis", Opt. Lett., vol. 24, no. 11, pp. 711-713, 1999.

M. Soljacic, S. Johnson, S. Fan, M. Ibanescu, E. Ippen and J. D. Joannopoulos, "Photonic-crystal slow-light enhancement of nonlinear phase sensitivity", J. Opt. Soc. Amer. B, vol. 19, no. 9, pp. 2052-2059, 2002.

D. K. Hunter, M. C. Chia and I. Andonovic, "Buffering in optical packet switches", J. Lightw. Technol., vol. 16, no. 12, pp. 2081-2094, Dec. 1998.

C. J. Chang-Hasnain, P. C. Ku, J. Kim and S. L. Chuang, "Variable optical buffer using slow light in semiconductor nanostructures", Proc. IEEE, vol. 91, no. 11, pp. 1884-1897, 2003.

P. C. Ku, C. J. Chang-Hasnain and S. L. Chuang, "A proposal of variable semiconductor all-optical buffer", Electron. Lett., vol. 38, no. 24, pp. 1581-1583, 2002.

R. S. Tucker, P.-C. Ku and C. J. Chang-Hasnain, "Delay-bandwidth product and storage density in slow-light optical buffers", Electron. Lett., vol. 41, no. 4, pp. 61-62, Feb. 2005.

P. C. Ku, F. Sedgwick, C. J. Chang-Hasnain and R. S. Tucker, "Link performance of all-optical buffers using slow light", in Proc. Optical Fiber Communication Conf. (OFC), Anaheim, CA, Mar. 2005, p. 2.

J. R. Pierce, Travelling-Wave Tubes, Princeton, NJ: Van Nostrand, 1950.

G. Lenz, B. J. Eggleton, C. K. Madsen and R. E. Slusher, "Optical delay lines based on optical filters", IEEE J. Quantum Electron., vol. 37, no. 4, pp. 525-532, Apr. 2001.

U. Troppenez, M. Hamacher, D. G. Rabus and H. Heidrich, "All-active InGaAsP/InP ring cavities for widespread functionalities in the wavelength domain", in Proc. Indium Phosphide Related Materials Conf. (IPRM), Stockholm, Sweden,May 2002, pp. 475-478.

A. Melloni, F. Morichetti and M. Martinelli, "Linear and nonlinear pulse propagation in coupled resonator slow-wave optical structures", Opt. Quantum Electron., vol. 35, no. 4, pp. 365-379, 2003.

P. Ku, C. Chang-Hasnain, J. Kim and S. Chuang, "Semiconductor all-optical buffers using quantum dots in resonator structures", in Tech. Dig., Optical Fiber Communications Conf., vol. 1M, Atlanta, GA, Mar. 23-28 2003, pp. 76-78.

Y. Xu, A. Yariv, C. Gunn and R. K. Lee, "Tunable group velocity reduction in coupled-resonator optical waveguide (CROW)", in Quantum Electronics Laser Science Conf. (QELS), Tech. Dig., San Francisco, CA, May 2000, pp. 93-94.

M. F. Yanik and S. Fan, "Stopping light all optically", Phys. Rev. Lett., vol. 92, no. 8, pp. 083901-1-083901-4, Feb. 27, 2004.

J. S. Foresi, P. R. Villeneuve, J. Ferrera, E. R. Thoen, G. Steinmeyer, S. Fan, J. D. Joannopoulos, L. C. Kimerling, H. I. Smith and E. P. Ippen, "Photonic-bandgap microcavities in optical waveguides", Nature, vol. 390, no. 6656, pp. 143-145, 1997.

S. Mookherjea and A. Yariv, "Coupled resonator optical waveguides", IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron., vol. 8, no. 3, pp. 448-456, May-Jun. 2002.

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