Optical Path Cross-Connect Node Architecture Offering High Modularity for Virtual Wavelength Paths

Atsushi WATANABE  Satoru OKAMOTO  Ken-ichi SATO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Communications   Vol.E78-B    No.5    pp.686-693
Publication Date: 1995/05/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Issue on Optical Signal Processing and Its Applications to Telecommunications)
photonic transport network,  optical path,  wavelength division multiplexing,  cross-connect,  modularity,  

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Recent technical advances in WDM (Wavelength Division Multiplexing) technologies suggest that their practical application is imminent. By adopting WDM technologies in the transport network, a bandwidth abundant B-ISDN could be realized cost-effectively. This requires the introduction of WDM technologies, especially into the path layer. This paper explores optical path cross-connect (OPXC) nodes that offer very high levels of expandability because existing traffic demands, which are rather limited, must be efficiently supported while permitting easy step-wise expansion in capacity. This paper highlights modularity with regard to incoming/outgoing links. The OPXC architecture that offers the highest modularity is elaborated, and its transmission characteristics, optical loss and switching power consumption are evaluated. This paper also examines OPXC architecture considering the interface needed to connect electrical path cross-connects. The proposed OPXC architectures provide flexibility and minimum investment to encourage the early introduction of B-ISDN and also supports incremental network growth to match traffic demand. The design of OPXC parameters in terms of transmission performance is shown to ensure the applicability of the proposed OPXC architecture to long-haul optical fiber transmission networks. This is made possible with the low optical component losses offered by the OPXC. The proposed OPXC architectures will, therefore, be applied not only to regional networks, but also to global area networks. Thus they will play a key role in realizing the optical path infrastructure for the future bandwidth abundant B-ISDN.