Abstract

Optical circuit switching may be instrumental in meeting the cost, energy, and aggregate bandwidth requirements of future data center networks. However, conventional MEMS beam-steering cross-connects cannot provide submillisecond switching with the port count necessary for data centers. Here, we investigate a novel noncrossbar selector switch architecture and pupil-division switching layout to improve optical switching performance by relaxing the requirement of arbitrary switch configurability. This architecture and switch design enable MEMS beam-steering micromirrors to scale to microsecond response speeds while supporting high port count and low loss switching, and can realize a number of useful interconnection topologies. We present the design, fabrication, and experimental characterization of a proof-of-principle prototype using a single comb-driven MEMS mirror to achieve 150 μs switching of 61 ports between four preprogrammed interconnection mappings. We demonstrate the scalability of this switch architecture with a detailed optical design of a 2048-port selector switch with 20 μs switching time.

© 2016 IEEE

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