Five-stage free-space optical switching network with field-effect transistor self-electro-optic-effect-device smart-pixel arrays

Frederick B. McCormick, Tom J. Cloonan, Anthony L. Lentine, Jose M. Sasian, Rick L. Morrison, Martin G. Beckman, Sonya L. Walker, Mike J. Wojcik, Steve J. Hinterlong, Randy J. Crisci, Robert A. Novotny, H. Scott Hinton

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

99 Scopus citations


The design, construction, and operational testing of a five-stage, fully interconnected 32 × 16 switching fabric by the use of smart-pixel (2, 1, 1) switching nodes are described. The arrays of switching nodes use monolithically integrated GaAs field-effect transistors, multiple-quantum-well p-i-n detectors, and self-electro-optic-devicem odulators. Each switching node incorporates 25 field-effect transistors and 17 p-i-n diodes to realize two differential optical receivers, the 2 × 1 node switching logic, a single-bit node control memory, and one differential optical transmitter. The five stages of node arrays are interconnected to form a two-dimensional banyan network by the use of Fourier-plane computer-generated holograms. System input and output are made by two-dimensional fiber-bundle matrices, and the system optical hardware design incorporates frequency-stabilized lasers, pupil-division beam combination, and a hybrid micro-macro lens for fiber-bundle imaging. Optomechanical packaging of the system utilizes modular kinematic component positioning and active thermal control to enable simple rapid assembly. Two preliminary operational experiments are completed. In the first experiment, five stages are operated at 50 Mbits/s with 15 active inputs and outputs. The second experiment attempts to operate two stages of second-generation node arrays at 155 Mbits/s, with eight of the 15 active nodes functioning correctly along the straight switch-routing paths.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1601-1618
Number of pages18
JournalApplied optics
Issue number8
StatePublished - Mar 10 1994


  • Optical computing
  • Optical interconnections
  • Photonic switching

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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