Most research efforts to date on optical networks have concentrated on wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) techniques where the information from different channels is routed via separate optical wavelengths. The data corresponding to a particular channel is selected at the destination node by a frequency filter. Optical time-division multiplexing (OTDM) has been considered as an alternative to WDM for future networks operating in excess of 10 Gb/s. Systems based on TDM techniques rely upon a synchronized clock frequency and timing to separate the multiplexed channels. Recent advances in device technologies have opened new opportunities for implementing OTDM in very high-speed long-haul transmission as well as networking. The multiterahertz bandwidth made available with the advent of optical fibers has spurred investigation and development of transparent all-optical networks that may overcome the band-width bottlenecks caused by electro-optic conversion. This paper presents an overview of current OTDM networks and their supporting technologies. A novel network architecture is introduced, aimed at offering both ultra-high speed (up to 100 Gb/s) and maximum parallelism for future terabit data communications. Our network architecture is based on several key state-of-the-art optical technologies we have recently demonstrated.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Computer Networks and Communications
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering