Abstract

A shutter-based free-space optical switching architecture capable of multicast transmission functionality has been proposed as a promising switching technology for storage area network applications. The main idea behind this type of switching architecture is that the system performance can be enhanced with a new electro-optical material, used for the shutters to increase switching speed. It can be distinguished from previous shutter-based optical switches which have been based on single channel to single channel switching, as we present a reconfigurable design of a 6 × 6 72-channel shutter-based optical switching core based on multimode fiber ribbon to multimode fiber ribbon switching. The design and implementation of a prototype 6 × 6 72-channel multimode fiber ribbon switch demonstrator utilizing a submicrosecond PLZT-based spatial light modulator as a shutter is reported. The light loss, crosstalk, and data switching characteristics of the implemented fiber ribbon switch from the evaluation tests were measured and are presented.

© 2012 IEEE

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