Automated routing and control of silicon photonic switch fabrics

Annoni, Andrea and Guglielmi, Emanuele and Carminati, Marco and Grillanda, Stefano and Ciccarella, Pietro and Ferrari, Giorgio and Sorel, Marc and Strain, Michael and Sampietro, Marco and Melloni, Andrea and Morichetti, Francesco (2016) Automated routing and control of silicon photonic switch fabrics. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics. ISSN 1077-260X (

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Automatic reconfiguration and feedback controlled routing is demonstrated in an 8×8 silicon photonic switch fabric based on Mach-Zehnder interferometers. The use of non-invasive Contactless Integrated Photonic Probes (CLIPPs) enables realtime monitoring of the state of each switching element individually. Local monitoring provides direct information on the routing path, allowing an easy sequential tuning and feedback controlled stabilization of the individual switching elements, thus making the switch fabric robust against thermal crosstalk, even in the absence of a cooling system for the silicon chip. Up to 24 CLIPPs are interrogated by a multichannel integrated ASIC wirebonded to the photonic chip. Optical routing is demonstrated on simultaneous WDM input signals that are labelled directly on-chip by suitable pilot tones without affecting the quality of the signals. Neither preliminary circuit calibration nor lookup tables are required, being the proposed control scheme inherently insensible to channels power fluctuations.