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      Integrated optical switch matrices for packet data networks

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          Integrated circuit technologies are enabling intelligent, chip-based, optical packet switch matrices. Rapid real-time re-configurability at the photonic layer using integrated circuit technologies is expected to enable cost-effective, energy-efficient, and transparent data communications. InP integrated photonic circuits offer high-performance amplifiers, switches, modulators, detectors, and de/multiplexers in the same wafer-scale processes. The complexity of these circuits has been transformed as the process technologies have matured, enabling component counts to increase to many hundreds per chip. Active–passive monolithic integration has enabled switching matrices with up to 480 components, connecting 16 inputs to 16 outputs. Integrated switching matrices route data streams of hundreds of gigabits per second. Multi-path and packet time-scale switching have been demonstrated in the laboratory to route between multiple fibre connections. Wavelength-granularity routing and monitoring is realised inside the chip. In this paper, we review the current status in InP integrated photonics for optical switch matrices, paying particular attention to the additional on-chip functions that become feasible with active component integration. We highlight the opportunities for introducing intelligence at the physical layer and explore the requirements and opportunities for cost-effective, scalable switching.

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          Most cited references 45

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                Author and article information

                [1 ] COBRA Institute, Eindhoven University of Technology, Postbus 513 , Eindhoven 5600MB, The Netherlands
                [2 ] National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Central 2, 1-1-1 Umezono , Tsukuba, Ibaraki 305-8568, Japan
                [3 ] PhotonIC Corporation, 5800 Uplander Way , Culver City, CA 90230, USA
                Author notes
                Microsyst Nanoeng
                Microsyst Nanoeng
                Microsystems & Nanoengineering
                Nature Publishing Group
                11 January 2016
                : 2
                6444727 micronano201542 10.1038/micronano.2015.42
                Copyright © 2015 IECAS

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