Label-controlled optical switching nodes

J.J. Vegas Olmos

Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 1 (Research TU/e / Graduation TU/e)

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Optical networks are evolving from initially static optical circuits and subsequently optical circuit switching towards optical packet switching in order to take advan- tage of the high transport capacity made available by WDM systems in a more °exible and e±cient way. Optically labeling of packets and routing the packets's payload optically under control of its label allows the network nodes to route and forward IP data without having to process the payload, thus keeping it in the optical domain; this is a promising solution to avoid electronic bottlenecks in routers. All-optical label switching can therefore be used to route and forward packets independent of their length and payload bitrate. Several optical signal labeling techniques have been proposed in previous re- search reported in literature; orthogonal labeling and time-serial labeling have been studied in this thesis. This thesis studies two orthogonal modulation label- ing techniques: one based on FSK labels with an IM payload, and another one on SCM labeling for a DPSK modulated payload. A time-serial labeling method based on IM labels with IM or DPSK payload is also presented and studied. The ¯rst two techniques assume electronic processing of the labels in the node, and hence assume that labels can be transmitted at a much lower bitrate than the payload data rate. The third technique assumes all-optical signal processing in the nodes, capable of handling a label at the same bitrate or slightly lower than the payload data. Labels at low bitrate in comparison with the payload bitrate are desirable in systems where the label processing will be conducted in the electrical domain, while labels at the same bitrate as the payload can be used in systems where the processing is conducted in the optical domain, exploiting all-optical processing techniques. These three techniques have been chosen because they are compatible with the existing networks, since the modulation format, bitrates, transmission properties, and other features of the signals are similar to the ones used for commercially available applications. Thus, they can be considered important candidates for migration scenarios from optical circuit switching towards optical burst switching networking. Orthogonal labeling based on FSK/IM is a promising scheme for implementing the labeling of optical signals, and it is the technology of choice in the STOLAS project. This technique o®ers advantageous features such as a relaxed timing de- lineation between payload and label, and ease of label erasure and re-writing of new labels. By using wavelength-agile tunable laser sources with FSK modula- tion capability, wavelength converters, and passive wavelength routing elements, a scalable modular label-controlled router featuring high reliability can be built. In this thesis, several aspects of the physical parameters of an FSK/IM labeling scheme within a routing node have been studied and presented. Optical ¯ltering requires special care, since the combined FSK/IM scheme has a broader spectrum than that of pure intensity modulated signals. The requirements on the limited extinction ratio for the IM signal can be relaxed at low bitrates of the label signal or, alternatively, by introducing data encoding. Optical labeling by using FSK/IM represents a simple and attractive way of implementing hybrid optical circuit and burst switching in optical networks. Architecturally, similar advantages can be mentioned for the second orthogo- nal labeling technique studied in this thesis, based on SCM labels and a DPSK payload. In-band subcarriers carrying low bitrate labels located at a frequency equal to half the bitrate of the payload signal can be inserted introducing only low power penalties. Wavelength conversion can be implemented by using passive highly nonlinear ¯bers and exploiting the four-wave mixing e®ect. This thesis also studies the design of two functional blocks of an all-optical core node proposed in the LASAGNE project, namely the all-optical label and payload separator and the wavelength converter unit for a time-serial labeling scheme. The label and payload processor can be realized exploiting nonlinear e®ects in SOAs. An implementation using polarization division multiplexing to transport the external control light for an IM/IM time-serial scheme was demon- strated. Label and payload processors with self-contained control signals were also demonstrated, either using a DPSK signal to simultaneously transport the payload data and the control signal or inserting a CW dummy in between the label and the payload, which were based on IM-RZ format. A study on single- and multi- wavelength conversion based on FWM in a HNLF was presented. This approach allows transparent wavelength conversion (independent of the data format used) at high bitrates (the nonlinear e®ects in a ¯ber are obtained at ultrafast speeds). The labeling techniques explored have indicated a viable way of migration towards optical burst packet switched networks while signi¯cantly improving the throughput of the routing nodes.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Koonen, A.M.J. (Ton), Promotor
  • Tafur Monroy, Idelfonso, Copromotor
Award date23 Oct 2006
Place of PublicationEindhoven
Print ISBNs90-386-1843-3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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