Semiconductor Laser Amplifier Gate Switch Arrays: Devices for the Broadband Transport Network

Mats Gustavsson, Mats Janson, and Lars Thylen

Current usage of optical transmission is limited to point-to-point transmission, with the involvement of photonic devices essentially limited to the source (laser) and detector. The drastic increase in transmission capacity required by introduction of broadband services offering speech, data, and video in an integrated digital format has led to a growing interest in photonic networks, where photonic devices also perform routing and switching operations. Photonic space switch arrays have long been recognized as key elements in such photonic networks, due to their capability to route optical signals essentially independently of bit rate and coding format ("network transparency").

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