As new bandwidth-hungry Internet protocol (IP) services are demanding more and more capacity, transport networks are evolving to provide a reconfigurable optical layer in order to allow fast dynamic allocation of wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) channels. To achieve this goal, optical packet-switched systems seem to be strong candidates as they allow a high degree of statistical resource sharing, which leads to an efficient bandwidth utilization. In this paper,we propose an architecture for optical packet-switched transport networks,together with an innovative switching node structure based on the concept of per-packet wavelength routing. The traffic performance of such node when loaded by a typical IP traffic is evaluated through computer simulation; packet loss probability and average delay performance are shown for various load conditions.
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