Microsecond regime optical cross connect: 32 port to 32 port scalable device

Brittany Lynn, Alexander Miles, Pierre Alexandre Blanche, John Wissinger, Daniel Carothers, Robert A. Norwood, N. Peyghambarian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Presented here is a 32 × 32 optical switch for telecommunications applications capable of reconfiguring at speeds of up to 12 microseconds. The free space switching mechanism in this interconnect is a digital micromirror device (DMD) consisting of a 2D array of 10.8μm mirrors optimized for implementation at 1.55μm. Hinged along one axis, each micromirror is capable of accessing one of two positions in binary fashion. In general reflection based applications this corresponds to the ability to manifest only two display states with each mirror, but by employing this binary state system to display a set of binary amplitude holograms, we are able to access hundreds of distinct locations in space. We previously demonstrated a 7 × 7 switch employing this technology, providing a proof of concept device validating our initial design principles but exhibiting high insertion and wavelength dependent losses. The current system employs 1920 × 1080 DMD, allowing us to increase the number of accessible ports to 32 × 32. Adjustments in imaging, coupling component design and wavelength control were also made in order to improve the overall loss of the switch. This optical switch performs in a bit-rate and protocol independent manner, enabling its use across various network fabrics and data rates. Additionally, by employing a diffractive switching mechanism, we are able to implement a variety of ancillary features such as dynamic beam pick-off for monitoring purposes, beam division for multicasting applications and in situ attenuation control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOptical Interconnects XIV
ISBN (Print)9780819499042
StatePublished - 2014
EventOptical Interconnects XIV - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Feb 3 2014Feb 5 2014

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


OtherOptical Interconnects XIV
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Digital micromirror device
  • Optical cross connect
  • Optical interconnect
  • Reconfigurable hologram
  • Reconfigurable optical add-drop multiplexer (ROADM)
  • Spatial light modulator
  • Storage area networks (SANs)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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