ROADMs: Reconfigurable Optics for Agile Networks

Mark D. Feuer and Sheryl L. Woodward

Flexible, dynamic wavelength routing has already helped drive vast gains in optical network capacity—and the capabilities of wavelength routing’s core element, the ROADM, continue to evolve.



The growth of innovative, transformative Internet-based services has been fueled by an explosion of optical network capacity—an expansion that has hinged on a concomitant drop in the cost per bit of data transmission. Much of that cost reduction has come from advances in optical transceiver and amplifier technologies: increased bit rate per wavelength; an increased number of wavelengths carried in a single fiber; increased optical reach. Less widely recognized, however, has been the role of a fourth critical enabler: increasingly flexible optical wavelength routing.

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