Optical EngineeringAll-optical controllable 4×4 photonic switch matrix with scale-up capability for large-port-count optical cross connects
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An all-optical controllable 4×4 photonic switch matrix is described. The switching mechanism is based on the selection of the light absorption or amplification characteristic of erbium-doped optical fibers controlled with 980-nm pumping light. Using this approach, 4×4 photonic switching without overall insertion loss has been demonstrated with millisecond switching time and minimum extinction ratio of 24.2 dB. The all-fiber-based device is packaged by fiber fusion splicing with no moving parts, to ensure long-term device reliability. The fabricated 4×4 photonic switch matrix can be potentially scaled up to enhance the network capacity in optical communication systems where nonblocking large-scale optical cross-connect switching is required.