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One approach to providing the benefits of the high data rates afforded by optics is to attempt to implement traditional electronic and electro-optic approaches using optical technologies. In electronics, operations such as buffering, adding packets and dropping packets, or merging packet streams, are done with ease. In optics, however, buffering is onerous. Operations such as retrieving a packet from a traffic stream affect the whole stream. The routing approach proposed by the authors seeks to make use of the strengths of optics and avoids operations that are cumbersome or expensive in optics. The authors' goal is to provide robust and reliable approaches to access at optical data rates.
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