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The scale of fiber-optic networks is growing rapidly, as is the complexity of these networks. This is particularly happening due to the enhancement of Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM) technologies. This paper discusses how network functionalities are designed, while emphasizing on wavelength routing using the wavelength transfer matrix method. The growth of fiber-optic networks has been witnessed for core as well as access networks. Core fiber optic networks not only employ Time Division Multiplexing (TDM), but also WDM. The focus on both is for capacity enhancement and photonic routing functionality. Photonic routing functionality is represented by Fiber To The Home (FTTH) and its extension of Passive Optical Network (WDM-PON). Core and access networks are increasing in scale and they are becoming more complex. This paper discusses how wavelength counts have reached 100 for core, physical configurations of the network. It also looks at how this has made future access complicated. The physical network is further elucidated by the paper. It looks at how the network consists of different entities depending on the analog and/or digital characteristics. Analog in this case refers to continuous and discrete signals. The paper also delves into network simulators as tools required for design and verification of network performance before the physical network is put in place. Network simulators such as Opnet and ns2 have been important when it comes to design of optical networks.
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