New trends in optical communications

Glesk, I. and Runser, R. J. and Prucnal, P. R. (2001) New trends in optical communications. In: Proceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering. SPIE, Bellingham, Wash., pp. 102-110. ISBN 9780819440471

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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 fulfill these needs a new class of all optical devices has been proposed and developed. By taking advantage of the nonlinear dynamics the semiconductor optical amplifiers in combination with the fiber interferometers a new generation of ultrafast all-optical demultiplexers and wavelength converters has been demonstrated. Newly developed broadband optical fiber, a new generation of fiber amplifiers, and extensive progress in dispersion management has helped substantially to increase bitrates and transmission distances (bandwidth-distance product) in the current optical networks. 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. In this paper we discuss progress and new trends in some of these areas.