All-Optical Switching Tutorial, Part 2

All-optical switches get their name from being able to carry light from their input to their output ports in its native state – as pulses of light rather than changes in electrical voltage.

All sorts of different ways of achieving this feat are being developed, and new ones are being discovered (or rediscovered) all the time.

Lithium niobate switching, for instance, has been well known for many years. Right now, however, it's enjoying a resurgence of interest because it offers some of the fastest switching capabilities, and would be ideal for optical burst switching and optical packet switching, assuming its other drawbacks can be overcome.

Current views concerning different types of optical switching fabric are reflected in Light Reading's October research poll on the subject.

All of this means that it's tough to come up with a definitive list of optical switching fabric technologies, but here's an incomplete one to help get us started:

Further reading:

  • Report: Optical Switching Fabric
  • News Analysis: Poll Points to All-Optical Future
  • News Analysis: Look Ma, No Moving Parts!

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