A new approach to multiport switching in arrays of nonlinear waveguides is proposed. Whereas other schemes have relied on suppressing the inherent transverse discreteness of these arrays, this approach takes advantage of that feature. One of the effects of discreteness is to keep intense beams trapped in a single waveguide for the length of the array. Switching may be achieved by use of a controlled perturbation to displace such a trapped beam in the transverse direction. This displacement is quantized to an integer number of waveguides, thus permitting unambiguous selection of the output channel.
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