Convert-and-Deliver: a scalable multicast optical cross-connect with reduced power splitting fan-out
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Powerful computing systems interconnected via high-bandwidth wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) fibers are becoming inevitable to meet the needs of emerging computation and communication applications. Enabling multicast over WDM links requires the use of multicast-capable optical cross-connects (MC-OXCs) equipped with power splitters to replicate and interconnect an input signal on a particular wavelength to one or more output fibers, possibly on different wavelengths. All existing design approaches for FW×FW strictly nonblocking MC-OXCs with F fibers, each carries W wavelengths require the use of power splitters with a fan-out degree of O(FW). For typical large values of F and W, complex and power-consuming active devices are needed to compensate for the lost power due to splitting. In this paper, we propose a new class of strictly nonblocking MC-OXC, namely, the Convert-and-Deliver (CAD) cross-connect to reduce power consumption. The new CAD OXC uses power splitters with a fan-out degree of only O(F) instead of O(FW). It is shown that, making the fan-out degree independent of W in the proposed design does not only reduce splitting power loss considerably, but it also enhances the scalability of the design. In particular, for any value of F, upgrading the number of wavelengths per fiber does not incur any changes to the fan-out degree or the power loss in the used splitters; a feature that cannot be obtained with any existing MC-OXC design approach.
KeywordsOptical multicast WDM Optical cross-connects (OXC) Wavelength converters Multicast converters Strictly nonblocking switching
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