As transmission rates in fiber-optic networks increase, routing
optical signals using electronic processing will become increasingly difficult.
This limitation can be overcome by performing the required processing
optically. Self-routing of optical signals through a switching node
using optically processed control is demonstrated. Packet headers are
encoded with packet destination addresses using either optical code-division
or time-division encoding schemes. An optical routing controller reads
the destination addresses and appropriately sets the photonic switch using
an optical look-up table. The results of several experiments demonstrating
optical control of a photonic switch are described.