Programmable switching nodes supporting Software-Defined Networking (SDN) over optical interconnecting technologies arise as a key enabling technology for future disaggregated Data Center (DC) environments. The SDNenabling roadmap of intra-DC optical solutions is already a reality for rack-to-rack interconnects, with recent research reporting on interesting applications of programmable silicon photonic switching fabrics addressing board-to-board and even on-board applications. In this perspective, simplified information addressing schemes like Bloom filter (BF)-based labels emerge as a highly promising solution for ensuring rapid switch reconfiguration, following quickly the changes enforced in network size, network topology or even in content location. The benefits of BF-based forwarding have been so far successfully demonstrated in the Information-Centric Network (ICN) paradigm, while theoretical studies have also revealed the energy consumption and speed advantages when applied in DCs. In this paper we present for the first time a programmable 4x4 Silicon Photonic switch that supports SDN through the use of BF-labeled router ports. Our scheme significantly simplifies packet forwarding as it negates the need for large forwarding tables, allowing for its remote control through modifications in the assigned BF labels. We demonstrate 1x4 switch operation controlling the Si-Pho switch by a Stratix V FPGA module, which is responsible for processing the packet ID and correlating its destination with the appropriate BF-labeled outgoing port. DAC- and amplifier-less control of the carrier-injection Si-Pho switches is demonstrated, revealing successful switching of 10Gb/s data packets with BF-based forwarding information changes taking place at a time-scale that equals the duration of four consecutive packets.
Future broadband access networks in the 5G framework will need to be bilateral, exploiting both optical and wireless technologies. This paper deals with new approaches and synergies on radio-over-fiber (RoF) technologies and how those can be leveraged to seamlessly converge wireless technology for agility and mobility with passive optical networks (PON)-based backhauling. The proposed convergence paradigm is based upon a holistic network architecture mixing mm-wave wireless access with photonic integration, dynamic capacity allocation and network coding schemes to enable high bandwidth and low-latency fixed and 60GHz wireless personal area communications for gigabit rate per user, proposing and deploying on top a Medium-Transparent MAC (MT-MAC) protocol as a low-latency bandwidth allocation mechanism. We have evaluated alternative network topologies between the central office (CO) and the access point module (APM) for data rates up to 2.5 Gb/s and SC frequencies up to 60 GHz. Optical network coding is demonstrated for SCM-based signaling to enhance bandwidth utilization and facilitate optical-wireless convergence in 5G applications, reporting medium-transparent network coding directly at the physical layer between end-users communicating over a RoF infrastructure. Towards equipping the physical layer with the appropriate agility to support MT-MAC protocols, a monolithic InP-based Remote Antenna Unit optoelectronic PIC interface is shown that ensures control over the optical resource allocation assisting at the same time broadband wireless service. Finally, the MT-MAC protocol is analysed and simulation and analytical theoretical results are presented that are found to be in good agreement confirming latency values lower than 1msec for small- to mid-load conditions.
Towards achieving a functional RAM organization that reaps the advantages offered by optical technology, a complete set of optical peripheral modules, namely the Row (RD) and Column Decoder (CD) units, is required. In this perspective, we demonstrate an all-passive 2×4 optical RAM RD with row access operation and subsequent all-passive column decoding to control the access of WDM-formatted words in optical RAM rows. The 2×4 RD exploits a WDM-formatted 2-bit-long memory WordLine address along with its complementary value, all of them encoded on four different wavelengths and broadcasted to all RAM rows. The RD relies on an all-passive wavelength-selective filtering matrix (λ-matrix) that ensures a logical ‘0’ output only at the selected RAM row. Subsequently, the RD output of each row drives the respective SOA-MZI-based Row Access Gate (AG) to grant/block the entry of the incoming data words to the whole memory row. In case of a selected row, the data word exits the row AG and enters the respective CD that relies on an allpassive wavelength-selective Arrayed Waveguide Grating (AWG) for decoding the word bits into their individual columns. Both RD and CD procedures are carried out without requiring any active devices, assuming that the memory address and data word bits as well as their inverted values will be available in their optical form by the CPU interface. Proof-of-concept experimental verification exploiting cascaded pairs of AWGs as the λ-matrix is demonstrated at 10Gb/s, providing error-free operation with a peak power penalty lower than 0.2dB for all optical word channels.
Optical RAM has emerged as a promising solution for overcoming the “Memory Wall” of electronics, indicating the use of light in RAM architectures as the approach towards enabling ps-regime memory access times. Taking a step further towards exploiting the unique wavelength properties of optical signals, we reveal new architectural perspectives in optical RAM structures by introducing WDM principles in the storage area. To this end, we demonstrate a novel SOAbased multi-wavelength Access Gate for utilization in a 4x4 WDM optical RAM bank architecture. The proposed multiwavelength Access Gate can simultaneously control random access to a 4-bit optical word, exploiting Cross-Gain-Modulation (XGM) to process 8 Bit and Bit channels encoded in 8 different wavelengths. It also suggests simpler optical RAM row architectures, allowing for the effective sharing of one multi-wavelength Access Gate for each row, substituting the eight AGs in the case of conventional optical RAM architectures. The scheme is shown to support 10Gbit/s operation for the incoming 4-bit data streams, with a power consumption of 15mW/Gbit/s. All 8 wavelength channels demonstrate error-free operation with a power penalty lower than 3 dB for all channels, compared to Back-to-Back measurements. The proposed optical RAM architecture reveals that exploiting the WDM capabilities of optical components can lead to RAM bank implementations with smarter column/row encoders/decoders, increased circuit simplicity, reduced number of active elements and associated power consumption. Moreover, exploitation of the wavelength entity can release significant potential towards reconfigurable optical cache mapping schemes when using the wavelength dimension for memory addressing.