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Proceedings Paper

Optical switches based on semiconductor optical amplifiers
Author(s): Robert F. Kalman
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Paper Abstract

Fiber-optic switching systems typically exhibit large losses associated with splitting and combining of the optical power, and with excess component losses. These losses increase quickly with switch size. To obtain acceptable signal-to-noise performance through large optical switching, optical amplifiers can be used. In applications requiring optical switching, semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) are preferred over erbium-doped fiber amplifiers due to their fast switching speeds and the possibility of their integration in monolithic structures with passive waveguides and electronics. We present a general analysis of optical switching systems utilizing SOAs. These systems, in which the gain provided by SOAs is distributed throughout the optical system, are referred to as distributed optical gain (DOG) systems. Our model predicts the performance and achievable sizes of switches based on the matrix-vector multiplier crossbar and Benes network. It is found that for realistic SOA parameters, optical switches accommodating extremely large numbers of nodes are, in principle, achievable.

Paper Details

Date Published: 1 December 1991
Proc. SPIE 1563, Optical Enhancements to Computing Technology, (1 December 1991); doi: 10.1117/12.2321744
Show Author Affiliations
Robert F. Kalman, Optivision, Inc. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 1563:
Optical Enhancements to Computing Technology
John A. Neff, Editor(s)

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