All-optical Switch Overview

Nowadays the growing demand for optical capacity has fueled the development of long-haul optical network systems. As one of perfect solutions for higher bandwidth, WDM technology is widely applied for its multiple transmission channels. However, WDM only delivers raw capacity and the bandwidth needed to be managed by carriers: optical switches. This article will depict one kind of optical switch: all-optical switch in the following content.

Introduction of All-optical Switch

All-optical switch is a device that enables phonotic signals in optical fibers or integrated optical circuits (IOCs) to be switched directly form one circuit to another. It manipulates signals in the form of light, either by redirecting all signals in a fiber or by selecting signals at certain wavelengths in wavelength-division multiplexed systems. It is a lower-cost solution for there is no need for expensive high-speed electronics in the switching process.

Technology of All-optical Switch

There are numerous technologies as how to implement light switching between optical fibers. One of commonly used technologies for developing an economically viable, scalable all-optical switch is micro-electromechanical system (MEMS). MEMS consists of mirrors no larger in diameter that are arranged on special pivots so that they can be moved in three dimensions (3D). Light from an input fiber is aimed at mirror, which is directed to move the light to another mirror on a facing array. Then the mirror reflects the light down towards the desired output fiber. As so many mirrors on a single chip, the cost per switching element is relatively low.

Advantages of All-optical Switch

All-optical switch is a lower-cost solution for there is no need for expensive high-speed electronics in the switching process by using MEMS technology. It can provide a 96% reduction in power consumption. It performs the same function as the OEO switches but features higher performance. All-optical switches can support 1000×1000 ports which are available in a space of two to four bays of equipment. A 3D all-optical switches is even expected to support 8000×8000 ports in the future. Thus all-optical switch makes the networks more flexible and even more dynamic.

Fiberstore SolutionsFiberstore offers a wide range of MEMS switches with different configurations include 1×4, 1×8 and 1×16 configurations for single-mode or multimode fibers. Details information are as follows. All these solutions are highly against environmental variations of temperature and vibration with unmatched low cost due to its novel and unique design. They are tested in-house prior to shipment with commitment that they will reach the destination in perfect physical and working condition. For more information, please visit