Dynamically reconfigurable optical packet switch (DROPS)
A novel Dynamically Reconfigurable Optical Packet Switch ( DROPS) that combines both spectral and spatial switching capabilities is proposed and experimentally demonstrated for the first time. Compared with an Arrayed Waveguide Grating Router ( AWGR), the added spatial switching capability provided by the microelectromechanical systems ( MEMS) enables dynamically reconfigurable routing that is not possible with an AWGR alone. This methodology has several advantages over an AWGR including scalability, additional degrees of freedom in routing a packet from an ingress port to an egress port and more flexibility in path or line card recovery. The experimental demonstration implemented with 10Gb/s packets shows that the added spatial switching does not degrade the bit-error-rate performance, indicating the promising potential of DROPS as a versatile and ultra-high capacity switch for optical packet-switched networks. (c) 2006 Optical Society of America.