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Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) has become the enabling technology for utilizing the available Bandwidth (BW) in fiber optic links. However, as BW usage increases, the capacity of the network nodes must be scaled to accommodate larger amounts of data received and transmitted through each fiber. The capacity of today's OEO routing architecture will soon approach its limit in terms of processing and buffering requirements, as well as overall power dissipation. To resolve these issues, next generation WDM networks will necessitate that much of the routing functionality be performed in the optical domain. One proposed method is all-optical label switching, which allows individual IP packets to be optically routed by dynamic wavelength assignment.
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