Optical Switching basics

This page covers Optical Switching basics.It also mentions Optical Switching types.

Optical Switching is the process by which destination of a individual optical information signal can be controlled. Using this, high bit rate transmission can be switched between various optical lines. The main component which helps in optical switching is known as "Optical Switch".

Optical Switching

Switch control can be any one of the following:
• Purely electronic
• Purely optical
• Hybrid of both optical and electronic
Figure-1 depicts typical diagram showing optical switching.

Optical Switching types

Following are the optical switching types:
• Space Division Switching
• Wavelength Division Switching
• Time Division Switching
• Hybrid of Space, Wavelength and Time

Optical Space Division Switching

optical space division switching

The figure-2 depicts optical space division switching type. It is a simple form of optical switching based on matrix. Figure depicts 3 x 3 based Space Division Switching.

It has following features:
• Supports switching speed of less than 1 ns.
• Supports very high bandwidth
• low insertion loss
• It is transparent to bit rate

Optical Wavelength Division Switching

Optical Wavelength Division Switching

The figure-3 depicts optical wavelength division switching type. Based on programming at wavelength interchanger, optical lines are connected. As shown , A channel is routed to Y channel, B channel is routed to X channel and C-channel is routed to Z-channel. Hence wavelength interchanger plays critical role here in this type of switching.

It is very suitable optical switching type for DWDM based networks.
EXAMPLE: European multi-wavelength transport network.
Refer DWDM tutorial➤.

Optical Time Division Switching

Optical Time Division Switching

The figure-4 depicts Optical Time Division Switching type. This is used in OTDM environment. The element optical time slot interchanger (TSI) plays critical role in this type of switching. TSI re-arranges physical channel positions in the OTDM frame. This helps in simple routing.
Refer OTDM basics➤.

Optical Hybrid Switching

The figure-5 depicts Optical hybrid Switching type. It is combination of all the above switching types i.e. time, wavelength and space.


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