A multiflow transponder in flex-grid optical networks has recently been proposed as a transponder solution to generate multiple optical flows (or subcarriers). Multiflow transponders support high-rate super-channels (i.e., connection composed of multiple corouted subcarriers contiguous in the spectrum) and sliceability; i.e., flows can be flexibly associated to the incoming traffic requests, and, besides composing a super-channel, they can be directed toward different destinations. Transponders supporting sliceability are also called sliceable transponders or sliceable bandwidth variable transponders (SBVTs). Typically, in the literature, SBVTs have been considered composed of multiple laser sources (i.e., one for each subcarrier). In this paper, we propose and evaluate a novel multirate, multimodulation, and code-rate adaptive SBVT architecture. Subcarriers are obtained either through multiple laser sources (i.e., a laser for each subcarrier) or by exploiting a more innovative and cost-effective solution based on a multiwavelength source and micro-ring resonators (MRRs). A multiwavelength source is able to create several optical subcarriers from a single laser source. Then, cascaded MRRs are used to select subcarriers and direct them to the proper modulator. MRRs are designed and analyzed through simulations in this paper. An advanced transmission technique such as time frequency packing is also included. A specific implementation of a SBVT enabling an information rate of is presented considering standard 100 GbE interfaces. A node architecture supporting SBVT is also considered. A simulation analysis is carried out in a flex-grid network. The proposed SBVT architecture with a multiwavelength source permits us to reduce the number of required lasers in the network.
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