Abstract: In this paper, we demonstrate optical transparency
in packet formatting and network traffic offered by all-optical
switching devices. Exploiting the bitwise processing capabilities
of these “optical transistors,” simple optical circuits are designed
verifying the independency to packet length, synchronization
and packet-to-packet power fluctuations. Devices with these attributes
are key elements for achieving network flexibility, fine
granularity and efficient bandwidth-on-demand use. To this end, a
header/payload separation circuit operating with IP-like packets,
a clock and data recovery circuit handling asynchronous packets
and a burst-mode receiver for bursty traffic are presented. These
network subsystems can find application in future high capacity
data-centric photonic packet switched networks.
Abstract: Digital optical logic circuits capable of performing bit-wise signal processing are critical building blocks for the realization of future high-speed packet-switched networks. In this paper, we present recent advances in all-optical processing circuits and examine the potential of their integration into a system environment. On this concept, we demonstrate serial all-optical Boolean AND/XOR logic at 20 Gb/s and a novel all-optical packet clock recovery circuit, with low capturing time, suitable for burst-mode traffic. The circuits use the semiconductor-based ultrafast nonlinear interferometer (UNI) as the nonlinear switching element. We also present the integration of these circuits in a more complex unit that performs header and payload separation from short synchronous data packets at 10 Gb/s. Finally, we discuss a method to realize a novel packet scheduling switch architecture, which guarantees lossless communication for specific traffic burstiness constraints, using these logic units.