, Volume 27, Issue 1, pp 19-48

Communication Models for a Free-Space Optical Cross-Connect Switch

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We design and analyze communication algorithms for an optical switch based on the electroholographic effect, that provides capabilities for configuration changes and a limited multicast. As configuration changes incur a high overhead, we suggest the use of a high-speed forwarding unit as part of the network interface. We develop broadcast algorithms that trade off the number of configuration changes and forwarding operations in order to achieve the minimal completion time. For general point- to-point communication, we use the limited multicast to create a spanning topology along which messages can be forwarded. This requires care to avoid collisions, but is still preferable to using configuration changes if the topology is rich enough but still has a low degree.