Optical Label Processing Techniques for Intelligent Forwarding of Packets in All-Optical Packet Switched Networks

Optical Label Processing Techniques for Intelligent Forwarding of Packets in All-Optical Packet Switched Networks

Nicola Calabretta (Eindhoven University of Technology, The Netherlands)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-3652-1.ch003

Abstract

In this chapter, the authors review several optical label processing techniques providing a comparison based on the potential for each technique to allow for implementation of a scalable and low latency optical packet switching cross-connect node. They present and demonstrate an optical packet switch sub-system employing in-band labeling to allow for transparent forwarding of multi-wavelength packets with multiple data formats at multiple data bit-rates. The optical packet switching sub-system employs a scalable, asynchronous, and low latency label processor. Experimental results are provided that confirm the operation of the label processor in optical packet switching system testbeds. Moreover, the authors discuss applications of the optical packet switching node based on optical label processor and the potential to allow the implementation of intelligent systems for optimal routing of the packets in the optical domain.
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Background

To date, several optical labeling techniques have been proposed and demonstrated. Those techniques can be divided in two areas: all-optical label processing techniques, in which all the operation required to recognize the labels are performed in the optical domain, and opto-electronics label processing techniques, in which optical and electronics processing are combined to optimally perform the label recognition.

Several works have been presented in literature that demonstrate all-optical label processing (Vegas Olmos, 2004; Klonidis 2005; Wang 2006, 2010; Takenaka 2006; Wai 2005; Herrera 2008; Calabretta 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008; Scaffardi 2010; Hamilton 2002; Wada 2007; Le Minh 2006). Despite the ultrafast operation of processing the labels in the optical domain, the main issue in all-optical label processors is the low amount of labels that can be processed and the lack of mature digital photonic circuits (logics) for complex operation required for implementing algorithms and schedulers for routing the optical packets. Moreover, the complexity of those circuits and the lack of mature and generic photonic integration technology prevented the realization of small footprint, and low power consumption circuits for processing large number of labels. Future breakthrough in the field of photonic integration could lead to efficient and scalable all-optical label processing circuits.

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