Abstract

We evaluate the advantages of using the extra dimension introduced by space-division multiplexing (SDM) for dynamic bandwidth-allocation purposes in a flexible optical network. In that respect, we aim to compare spectral and spatial super-channel (Sp-Ch) allocation policies in an SDM network based on bundles of SMFs (to eliminate coupling between spatial dimensions from the study) and to investigate the role of modulation format selection in the blocking probability performance with an emphasis on the spectral efficiency (SE)/reach tradeoff for different multiline-rate scenarios, created either by changing the number of sub-channels (Sb-Ch), or by employing different modulation formats. Our network-performance results show that DP-8QAM —in a multichannel (MC) single-modulation-format system assuming ITU-T 50-GHz WDM Sb-Ch spectrum occupation—offers the best compromise between SE and optical reach for both spectral and spatial Sp-Ch allocation policies. They also reveal that an MC multimodulation-format system improves the network performance, particularly for spectral Sp-Ch allocation with Sb-Ch spectrum occupation of 37.5 GHz on the 12.5-GHz grid. Additionally, as another important contribution of the paper, we investigate, for spatial Sp-Ch allocation, the performance of several SDM switching options: independent switching (InS), which offers highest flexibility, joint-switching (JoS), which routes all spatial modes as a single entity, and fractional-joint switching, which separates out the spatial modes into sub-sets of spatial modes which are routed independently. JoS is proved to offer a similar performance to that of InS for particular network load profiles, while allowing a significant reduction in the number of wavelength-selective switches.

© 2016 IEEE

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