Optical communication networks are, literally, the information superhighway providing the conduits over which broadband data are delivered worldwide. Hundreds of millions of kilometers of deployed optical fiber interconnect continents, nations, cities, neighborhoods, and are now reaching private homes. The advent of optical networking has been enabled by a suite of complementary optical subsystems that are pivotal to the operation and management of these networks. These optical microsystems directly interact with the optical signal and - through functionality afforded by design - are able to filter, switch, attenuate, and adapt the optical communication channels carried by the network. Five major optical microsystem applications are presented: tunable lasers, tunable filters, variable optical attenuators, optical fiber switches, and wavelength-selective switches. The requisite information for understanding the design and operation principles of these microsystems as well as their functional implications for optical networking is provided.
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© 2008 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
- Optical communications
- Optical networking
- Optical switching
- Tunable filters
- Tunable lasers
- Variable optical attenuators
- Wavelength-selective switches