On the optically transparent WDM ATM multicast (3M) switches

Fow Sen Choa, H. J. Chao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We describe an architecture design and implementation of the optically transparent wavelength-division-multiplexed (WDM) asynchronous-transfer-mode (ATM) multicast (3M) switch for all optical high-speed networks. By using the WDM techniques, the wire complexity in both the switch fabric and the concentrator can be reduced from O(N2) to O(N). By using integrated photonic devices and highly parallel processing and pipeline control electronic circuits the switch is handling signals at the cell level (53 bytes) instead of at the bit level and can achieve very high speed and high throughput operation. Several key components, including a cell synchronizer, a photonic VCI over-writting unit, a wavelength converter, an optical concentrator, and a WDM memory, have also been proposed to realize this 3M switch. All of the photonic devices are highly integratable and are very suitable for building future large-scale, low-cost photonic ATM switches. A combination of both the ATM and WDM techniques will provide an ultimate version for optical networking with almost unlimited capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-123
Number of pages15
JournalFiber and Integrated Optics
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 1996


  • Optical communications
  • Photonic switches
  • WDM devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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