New generation of devices for all-optical communications

Glesk, Ivan and Runser, Robert J. and Prucnal, Paul R. (2001) New generation of devices for all-optical communications. Acta Physica Slovaca, 51 (2). pp. 151-162. ISSN 0323-0465

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    Abstract

    To increase the transmission capacity of future communication networks is becoming very critical. This task can only be accomplished by taking advantage of optical networks where multiplexing techniques such as Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (DWDM) and Optical Time Division Multiplexing (OTDM) are employed. To avoid electronic bottlenecks a whole new generation of ultrafast devices is needed. To fulfil these needs a new class of all optical devices has been proposed and developed. By taking advantage of the nonlinear dynamics in semiconductor optical amplifiers in combination with the fiber interferometers a new generation of ultrafast all-optical demultiplexers and wavelength converters has been demonstrated. Other switching technologies are also promising for the future. The latest technologies in the area of micro-machining have created very attractive low cost MEMS. Recently announced use of bubble technology for all-optical switching might also lead to the development of next generation large scale switching fabrics. This paper is an overview of the recent development in these areas.