Transparent High-Data-Rate Optical Transmission Through Broadband Hitless Bypass Switches for Chip-Scale Optical Networks

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Silicon photonics has been realized to provide outstanding performance in very broad range of applications such as short-haul communication, and on-chip global interconnection networks in multi-core microprocessors. The most pertinent advantages of silicon photonics are its large bandwidth, low energy consumption, and small footprint components. Furthermore, silicon photonics provides large index contrast, enabling highly confined, low-loss waveguides. In photonics, optical switches are one of the critical components for on-chip optical networks. Particularly, they are needed for high performance interconnects in multi-core microprocessors systems. Previously, several switching techniques have been examined such as thermal heating, electrooptic switching, albeit requiring high power and not compatible with silicon.