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Compact 4×4 optical cross-connect with add/drop ports using PLC technology

Compact 4×4 optical cross-connect with add/drop ports using PLC technology,Kazuto Noguchi,Osamu Moriwaki,Hiroshi Takahashi,Tadashi Sakamoto,Masayuki O

Compact 4×4 optical cross-connect with add/drop ports using PLC technology  
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The rapid development of mobile Internet access devices and the expansion of video streaming services have led a huge increase in Internet traffic throughout the world. As a result, electrical core routers will form a bottleneck as regards both transmission speed and power consumption of communication nodes. To cope with this problem, a key technology is wavelength routing, by which traffic is directly guided to its destination without the need for electrical processing in intermediate nodes [1-3]. Optical cross-connect (OXC) nodes, which can easily handle many wavelength paths, are expected to realize high-speed communication nodes with low-power consumption. We have already developed a hierarchical optical cross-connect (HOXC) node using silica waveguide planar lightwave circuit (PLC) components, where optical signals are cross-connected mostly at the waveband (groups of wavelength channels) level, and wavelength path level switching (grooming) is performed when necessary. The applicability of HOXC to backbone networks has been demonstrated by field experiments [4]. Since PLC components have a good integration ability, high reliability, and compactness, they also are expected to be applied to small scale OXC systems for metropolitan area networks where reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexing (ROADM) systems are installed. In this paper, we present, for the first time, prototype 4x4 OXC node equipment, which can be used to interconnect ROADM ring networks. The OXC consists of eight 40-channel arrayed-waveguide grating (AWG) multi/demultiplexers and forty 4x4 matrix switches fabricated using PLC technology. These components are packaged into seven modules to achieve system upgradability. We also leverage optical multi-fiber connectors to connect large number of fibers between the modules. These technologies enabled us to realize compact (2-U high chassis), practical OXC node equipment. We also show the feasibility of this equipment using the results of transmission experiments obtained with the prototype. 2. Design and development of optical cross-connect node The configuration of a 4x4 OXC node is shown in Fig. 1. It consists of four 1x40 AWG wavelength de-multiplexers, forty 4x4 matrix switches with an add/drop function, and four 40x1 AWG wavelength multiplexers. The input WDM signals are demultiplexed into optical signals at each wavelength. Then the signal at each wavelength is switched to one of the output ports or dropped. The switched or added signals are multiplexed into WDM signals and launched into the output fibers.
Published in 2011.
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