Digital micro-mirror devices (DMD) by their high switching speed, stability, and repeatability are a promising devices for fast, reconfigurable telecommunication switches. However, their binary mirror orientation is an issue for conventional redirection of a large number of incoming ports to a similarly large number of output fibers like with analog MEMS.
We are presenting here the use the DMD as a diffraction based optical switch, where Fourier diffraction patterns are used to steer the incoming beams to any output configuration. Fourier diffraction patterns are computer generated holograms that structures the incoming light into any shape in the output plane. This way, the light from any fiber can be redirected to any position in the output plane. The incoming light can also be split to any positions in the output plane. This technique has the potential to make an "any to any", true non-blocking, optical switch with high port count, solving some the problems of the present technology.