An optical interconnection network for terabit IP routers

H. Jonathan Chao, Ti Shiang Wang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


As data traffic increases exponentially in the Internet, a need of deploying ATM switches or IP routers with terabit/s capacity is emerging. By taking advantage of the advanced wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) technology, we propose a nonblocking WDM-based optical interconnection network (OIN) to interconnect multiple electronic router modules (RMs), where packets are stored and processed. The proposed architecture uses an input-output buffering scheme, where the OIN operates at twice the line rates to alleviate the head-of-line blocking and thus achieves close to 100% throughput. The OIN is capable of performing multicasting using the method of broadcast and select. Output port contention among the input packets is resolved by a novel ping-pong arbitration (PPA) scheme. For a 256-input packet switch, the arbitration can be completed within 11 gates delay, less than 5 ns using the current CMOS technology. We analyze the complexity of the OIN in optical components and interconnections, its power budget, and crosstalk caused by the finite ON-OFF ratio of optical switching gates. Bit error rates with respect to different ON-OFF ratios and extinction ratios are evaluated by simulations. The result shows that it is feasible to construct a 256 × 256 OIN with existing technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number908820
Pages (from-to)2095-2112
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2000


  • Arbitration
  • Crosstalk
  • IP router
  • Optical interconnection network (OIN)
  • Packet switch
  • Wavelength division multiplexing (WDM)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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