Abstract

A scalable monolithically integrated photonic space switch is proposed which uses a combination of Mach–Zehnder modulators and semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) for improved crosstalk performance and reduced switch loss. This architecture enables the design of high-capacity, high-speed, large-port count, low-energy switches. Extremely low crosstalk of better than −50 dB can be achieved using a 2 × 2 dilated hybrid switch module. A “building block” approach is applied to make large port count optical switches possible. Detailed physical layer multiwavelength simulations are used to investigate the viability of a 64 × 64 port switch. Optical signal degradation is estimated as a function of switch size and waveguide induced crosstalk. A comparison between hybrid and SOA switching fabrics highlights the power-efficient, high-performance nature of the hybrid switch design, which consumes less than one-third of the energy of an equivalent SOA-based switch. The significantly reduced impairments resulting from this switch design enable scaling of the port count, compared to conventional SOA-based switches.

© 2013 IEEE

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