Abstract

Various optical-delay buffer architectures and delay media that are suitable for use in optical packet switches are discussed in this paper. In particular, a novel type of folded-path buffer architecture that can provide a large range of variable delays will be described in detail. This buffer is able to dynamically reconfigure itself within nanoseconds due to the use of high-speed ON-OFF optical-signal reflectors. Three different types of such reflectors are proposed, and their performances are measured and compared against one another with the aid of a simulation model. In addition, the optimal operating conditions for the reflectors will be determined so that the optical buffer can provide the maximum range of delay values, while incurring the least power penalty. An example of a performance-optimized optical buffer with multiple sections will also be provided to illustrate how variable delays, ranging from a few nanoseconds to tens of microseconds, can be achieved.

© 2006 IEEE

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