Today's data-centric networks are becoming progressively dynamic with respect to the transported traffic volume, to the spatial and temporal variations of traffic patterns, and to the subsequent interconnection request patterns. Optical packet routers (OPRs) aim to provide a viable answer to these requirements by rendering the optical layer adaptable, reconfigurable at will, and cost-effective by means of statistical multiplexing of the network resources while satisfying end-to-end quality-of-service requirements. We study the role of OPRs in two different network approaches: an OPR adopting the legacy of a telecommunication solution and a solution pertinent to the role and the functionality of an IP world. To benchmark the two scenarios, a multilayer, multigranular OPR architecture is presented and its potential to cost-effectively scale toward petabit-per-second throughput is justified by means of physical layer performance and power consumption estimations for each case. Furthermore, the blocking and frame-loss performance of the proposed OPRs is presented, proving the viability of the proposed solutions.
© 2008 Optical Society of AmericaPDF Article