Towards large-scale fast reprogrammable SOA-based photonic integrated switch circuits

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Due to the exponentially increasing connectivity and bandwidth demand from the Internet, the most advanced examples of medium-scale fast reconfigurable photonic integrated switch circuits are offered by research carried out for data- and computer-communication applications, where network flexibility at a high speed and high connectivity are provided to suit network demand. Recently we have prototyped optical switching circuits using monolithic integration technology with up to several hundreds of integrated optical components per chip for high connectivity. In this paper, the current status of fast reconfigurable medium-scale indium phosphide (InP) integrated photonic switch matrices based on the use of semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) gates is reviewed, focusing on broadband and cross-connecting monolithic implementations, granting a connectivity of up to sixteen input ports, sixteen output ports, and sixty-four channels, respectively. The opportunities for increasing connectivity, enabling nanosecond order reconfigurability, and introducing distributed optical power monitoring at the physical layer are highlighted. Complementary architecture based on resonant switching elements on the same material platform are also discussed for power efficient switching. Performance projections related to the physical layer are presented and strategies for improvements are discussed in view of opening a route towards large-scale power efficient fast reprogrammable photonic integrated switching circuits.
Original languageEnglish
Article number920
Number of pages15
JournalApplied Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2017

Bibliographical note

This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications of Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers)


  • Fast optical switching
  • Packet switching
  • Photonic integrated circuits
  • Re-programmability
  • SOA
  • fast optical switching
  • packet switching
  • photonic integrated circuits
  • re-programmability


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