Opportunities for Optical Planar Interconnection Technology in Terabit Switches

H. Forsberg, M. Jonsson, and B. Svensson (Sweden)


Optical network architecture; interconnection networks; planar packaging technology; terabit switches


To keep up with the explosive growth of world-wide network traffic, large-capacity switches, with switching capacities in excess of several terabits per second, are becoming an essential part of the future. To realize such switches, new architecture concepts must be considered. In this paper, we discuss a technology for terabit switches that combines the advantage of using optical communication in all three spatial dimensions and the benefits of using surface mounted optoelectronic as well as electronic chips. We present three different types of packet-based switch fabrics, all based on the optical planar interconnection technology. We then discuss these in terms of capacity, scalability, and physical size. All three implementations have a single switch plane cross sectional bandwidth exceeding 5 Tbps.

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