M. Feldman, A. El-Amawy, and R. Vaidyanathan (USA)
Optical switching, optical crossbar, crossconnect, interconnects.
All-optical crossconnects are essential for implement
ing future all-optical networks. This paper describes a
novel, low loss crossconnect which is practical and scalable. The crossconnect operates in free space, imaging
several light sources onto corresponding receivers. The
light from each source is deﬂected by a series of polarization sensitive prisms, such as Wollaston prisms,
each of which deﬂects the light in one of two directions. Each prism in the series deﬂects the light by
about twice the angle as the previous prism. By con
trolling the direction of polarization of the light as it
enters each prism any desired angular deﬂection may
be obtained. A lens system then directs the light from
each source towards its desired receiver. A second deﬂection unit removes the angular deﬂection of the light
so that it is incident normally on the receivers, as required for propagation in single mode optical ﬁbers.
Various arrangements are described to minimize the
number of optical components and to provide uninterrupted high-speed data ﬂow with a single high-speed
polarization control device.