JDS Uniphase Corp. has successfully tested its fully functional multiport wavelength switch prototype with excellent results in key performance areas, claim company representatives. Using a new technology, JDS Uniphase researchers routed, added, and dropped signals on 64 wavelengths simultaneously in a device that is substantially smaller and potentially much less costly than current methods required to deliver the same functionality.
This type of multiple wavelength switch represents can be used to reduce both operating and capital costs of optical networks by enabling remote, dynamic, channel reconfiguration and by reducing the number of opto-electronic regenerators required in the network.
JDS Uniphase's prototype tests showed results that would enable such devices to be cascaded in a system; typical insertion loss was 5.0 dB, the 0.5 dB passband was >50% of the channel spacing, and the extinction ratio was >45 dB. Signals traveling in such a system could pass through multiple, reconfigurable optical nodes without converting to the electrical domain, enabling new lower cost dynamic optical network architectures, including reconfigurable mesh topologies.
The ten-port prototype (input, output, four drop, and four add fibers) was tested with up to 64 100-GHz DWDM signals. Although the tests were conducted in the L-band, this technology could be developed for either the L- or C-band. In this ten-port configuration, wavelengths can be independently routed in any combination from the multiplexed input fiber to any of the four drop ports or the output port fiber with similar routing capability from the four add ports to the output port. Current methods typically include conversion of the signal from optical to electrical and back to optical and require a combination of expensive optical and electronic equipment.
Remote reconfiguration offers additional savings potential, asserts the company. Any of the wavelengths (64 in the prototype design) can be selected and rerouted remotely in milliseconds. In comparison, reconfiguring with current fixed or configurable optical modules requires new equipment installation or manual adjustments in the field.
The multiport wavelength switch prototype uses MEMS mirror technology in JDS Uniphase proprietary designs. A Digital Signal Processor chip is used for drive electronics, control, and monitoring.
For more information about JDS Uniphase Corp. (Ottawa, Canada and San Jose, CA), visit the company's Web site at www.jdsu.com.