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Optical packet switching full report
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Optical packet switching promises to bring the flexibility and efficiency of Internet to transparent optical networking with bit rate extending beyond that currently available with electronic router technologies. New optical signal processing have been demonstrated that enable routing at bit rates from 10gb/s to beyond 40gb/ this article we review these signal processing techniques and how all optical wavelength converters technology can be used to implement packet switching functions. Specific approaches that utilize ultra fast all-optical nonlinear fiber wavelength converters and monolithically integrated wavelength converters are discussed.


With in today's Internet data is transported using wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) optical fiber transmission system that carry 32-80 wavelengths modulated at 2.5gb/s and 10gb/s per wavelength. Todayâ„¢s largest routers and electronic switching systems need to handle close to 1tb/s to redirect incoming data from deployed wdm links. Mean while next generation commercial systems will be capable of single fiber transmission supporting hundreds of wavelength at 10gb/s
The bandwidth mismatch between fiber transmission systems and electronics router will becomes more complex when we consider that future routers and switches will potentially terminate hundreds of wavelength, and increase in bit rate per wavelength will head out of beyond 40gb/s to 160gb/s. The article contains, how optical signal processing does key functions of all optical packet switching. This describes how all-optical wavelength can be implemented as optical signal processors for packet switching

Routing and transmission are the basic functions required to move packets through a networks router moves randomly arriving packets through a networks by directing them from its multiple inputs to outputs and transmitting them on a link to next router. The router uses information carried with arriving packets (e.g. IP headers) to forward them from its input to output ports as efficiently as possible with minimal packet loss. This processing of merging multiple random input packet streams onto common output is called statistical multiplexing. In smaller networks, the links between routers can be made directly using Ethernet; however in high capacity metropolitan enterprise transmission systems between routers employ synchronous framing techniques like SONET, packet over SONET (pos), or Gigabit Ethernet (Gig E). This added layer of framing is designed to simplify transmission between routers and decouple it from packet routing and forwarding process. Figure 1 illustrate that the transport that connects routers can designed to handle the packets asynchronously or synchronously

In all optical packet switching network the data is maintained in optical format throughout the routing and transmission processes. One approach that has been widely used is all-optical label swapping (AOLS). AOLS is intended to solve potential mismatch between dense WDM (DWDM) fiber capacity and router packet forwarding capacity, especially as packet data rate increase beyond that easily handled by electronics (>40gb/s). Packets can be routed independent of the payload bit rate, coding format or length. In this approach a lower bit rate label is attached to front end of the packet. The packet bit rate is then independent of the label bit rate, and the label can be detected and processed using lower-cost electronics in order to make routing decisions. However, actual removal and replacement of label with respect to packet is done with optics.

An example AOLS network is illustrated in FIG.2. IP packets enter the network through an ingress node where they are encapsulated with an optical label and retransmitted on a new wavelength once inside the AOLS network, only the label is used to make the routing decisions, and the packet wavelength is used to dynamically redirect them to next node. At internal core nodes label is optically erased, the packet is optically regenerated, a new label is attached, and the packet is converted to a new wavelength. These functions-label replacement, packet regeneration, and wavelength conversion “are handled in optical domain using optical signal processing techniques and may be implemented using optical wavelength conversion technology.

The overall function of an optical labeled packet switch is shown in FIG.3a.The switch can be separated into two planes, data and control. The data plane is the physical medium over which packets are switched. The control plane has two levels of functionality. The decisions and control level executes the packet handling process including switch control, packet buffering, and scheduling. This control section operates not at packet bit rate but instead at the slower label bit rate .The other level of control plane supplies routing information to the decision level.
The optical label swapping technique is shown more detail in FIG.3b.Optically labeled packets at the input have a majority of the input optical power directed to upper photonic packet processing plane and a small portion of the optical packets directed to the lower electronics label processing plane. The photonic plane handles optical data regeneration, optical label removel, optical label rewriting, and the packet rate wavelength switching. The lower electronic plane recovers into an electronic memory and uses lookup tables and other digital logic to determine the new optical label and wavelength in the upper photonic plane.

Packet routing and forwarding functions are performed today using digital electronics, while transport between routers is supported using high-capacity DWDM transmission and optical circuit-switched systems. Optical signal (OSP) is currently used to support transport functions optical dispersion compensation and optical wavelength multiplexing and demultiplexing.
Todayâ„¢s routers relay on dynamic buffering and scheduling to efficiently move IP packets. However, optical dynamic buffering techniques do not currently exist. To realize optical packet switching new techniques must be developed for scheduling and routing. The optical wavelength domain can be used to forward packets on different wavelength with the potential to reduce the need for optical buffering and decreased collision probability.


The AOLS functions described in Fig.3 can be implemented using molithically integrated indium phosphide (InP) SOA wavelength converter technology (SOA_IWC) technology. An example that employs a two-stage wavelength converter is shown in Fig.4 and is designed to operate with NRZ
coded packets and labels. In general this type of converter works for 10Gb/s and can be extended to 40Gb/s and possibly beyond. In Fig. Functions are indicated the top layer and photonic and electronic plane implementations are shown in middle and lower layers. A burst- mode photo receiver is used to recover the digital information residing in the label. A gating signal is then generated by post receiver electronics, in order to shut down the output of first stage, an InP SOA cross-gain modulation (XGM) wavelength converter. This effectively blanks the input label. The SOA converter turns on after the label passes and input NRZ packet is converted to an out-of-band internal wavelength. The lower electronic control circuitry is synchronized with well timed the well-timed optical time-of-flight delays in the photonic plane. The first stage WC is used to optically preprocess input packet by:
Converting input packets at any wavelength to a shorter wavelength, which is chosen to optimize the SOA XGM extinction ratio.
The recovered label is also sent to a fast lookup table that generates the new label and outgoing wavelength based on prestored routing information. The new wavelength is translated to currents that set a rapidly tunable laser to the new output wavelength. The wavelength is pre modulated with the new label using an InP electro-absorption modulator (EAM) and input to an InP interferometric SOA-WC (SOA-IWC). The SOA-IWC is set in its maximum transmission mode to allow the new label to pass through. A short time after the label is transmitted (determined by guard band), the WC is biased for inverting operation, and the packet enters the SOA-IWC from the first stage and drives one arm of the WC, imprinting the information onto the new wavelength. The second stage wavelength converter:
Enables the new label at new wavelength to be passed to outputs using a fixed optical band reject filter
Reverts the bit polarity to its original state
Is optimized for wavelength up conversion
Enhances the extinction ratio due to its nonlinear transfer function

The label swapping functions may also implemented at higher 40 and 80Gb/s using RZ coded packets and NRZ coded labels. This approach has been demonstrated using the configuration in Fig.5. The silicon-based label processing electronics layer is basically the same as in Fig. 4. In this implementation nonlinear fiber cross phase modulation (XPM) is used to erase the label, convert the label and regenerate the signal. An optically amplified input RZ packet efficiently modulate sidebands through fiber cross phase modulation onto a new continuous wave (cw) wavelength converter, while the NRZ “label XPM induced sideband modulation very in efficient and the label is erased or suppressed. The RZ modulated sideband is recovered using a two-stage filter that passes a single side band. The converted packet with erased label is passed to the converter output where it is reassembled with a new label. The fiber XPM converter also various signal conditioning and digital regeneration functions also including extinction ratio enhancement of RZ signals and polarization mode dispersion compensation.

In this article we review optical signal processing and wavelength converter technologies that can bring transparency to optical packet switching with bit rate extending beyond that currently available with electronic router technologies. The application of optical signal processing technique to all optical label swapping and synchronous network functions is presented. Optical wavelength converter technologies show promise to implement packet-processing functions. Non-linear fiber wavelength converters and indium phosphide optical wavelength converters are described

IEEE communication (Feb.-2003,march-2000)
IEEE lightwave tech. (dec.1998, june-1996)
IEEE photonic tech. (Dec-2000)
Scientific American (Jan.-2001)
Optical Networks by Rajiv Ramaswami

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