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This paper presents an architecture for an all optical switching node. The architecture is suitable for optical packet and optical burst switching and provides appropriate contention resolution schemes and QoS guarantees. A concept, called virtual memory, is developed to allow controllable and reasonable periods for delaying optical traffics. Related to its implementation, several engineering issues are discussed, including the use of loop-based optical delay lines, fiber Bragg gratings, and limited number of signal amplifications. In particular, two implementations using optical flip-flop and laser neuron network based control units are analyzed.
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