15 September 1993 Semiconductor active-waveguide reconfigurable-optical-interconnect devices and networks
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We have developed semiconductor active (with gain) waveguide structures than can be used as building blocks at a monolithic device and multi-device level to configure a high transmission bandwidth space division switch. For space and aircraft systems, where weight and volume are a premium and reliability is essential, reconfigurable optical interconnects promise a quantum improvement in overall system performance and capability. Because of its inherent gain, our switch can split up an optical signal, to multiple destinations, many times and still achieve a net 0 dB loss. We have used this basic structure to design distributed gain matrix vector multiplier (DGMVM) 4 X 4 and 8 X 8 crossbar switches. These monolithic devices are completely nonblocking, bidirectional, and can be operated in either a point-to-point or broadcast mode. Multiple monolithic space division switches can be interconnected by inorganic or polymer waveguide arrays to form a large switching fabric on a single substrate. Our simulations for signal-to-noise (S/N) performance show that a -10 dBm 10 GHz optical signal can be split over thirty times and still maintain better than a 10-10 bit error rate (BER) level. Optical interconnect devices are inherently immune to electronically generated noise -- e.g., EMI, RFI, EMP. Conversely, active waveguide interconnect devices are non-noise-intrusive in that they do not generate EMI or RFI. We discuss our concepts for applying semiconductor active waveguide devices to higher levels of network integration for space and avionics applications.
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Chet L. Balestra, Chet L. Balestra, Tom L. Atkinson, Tom L. Atkinson, Bartley C. Johnson, Bartley C. Johnson, L. G. Perrymore, L. G. Perrymore, "Semiconductor active-waveguide reconfigurable-optical-interconnect devices and networks", Proc. SPIE 1953, Photonics for Space Environments, (15 September 1993); doi: 10.1117/12.156571; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.156571

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