Growth in Internet Protocol (IP) traffic is bringing about a need for larger packet switches. Merely adding more small switches to the network to handle the increased IP traffic is an inefficient solution, since the effective capacity of a router falls when packets must pass through many routers—the number of futile transit ports falls with increased switch size. In addition, control is simpler in networks with a smaller number of nodes. In this Focus Issue, authors from NEC, Alcatel, Lucent Technologies, and Chiaro Networks examine designs that enable high-capacity packet switches.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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