Photonics Speeds Data Handling
The last few months of 2004 saw notable progress toward the challenging goal of all-optical data switching.The last few months of 2004 saw notable progress toward the challenging goal of all-optical data switching. By eliminating costly and time-consuming conversion between electronic and photonic signaling, all-optical hardware promises data-handling rates of 100 terabits per second before the end of this decade. Current optical switches include Lucent Technologies WaveStar LambdaRouter, a microelectromechanical system using tiltable mirrors about the size of the eye in a sewing needle. Even these, however, look clumsy compared with the fully photonic approaches being explored by researchers including Michal Lipson, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Cornell University.
Click here to read about how Jazz at Lincoln Center is using Free Space Optics for high-speed LAN between buildings.