Demonstration of optically controlled data routing with the use of multiple-quantum-well bistable and electro-optical devices

P. Koppa, P. Chavel, J. L. Oudar, R. Kuszelewicz, J. P. Schnell, J. P. Pocholle

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


We present experimental results on a 1-to-64-channel free-space photonic switching demonstrationsystem based on GaAsyGaAlAs multiple-quantum-well active device arrays. Two control schemes aredemonstrated: data transparent optical self-routing usable in a packet-switching environment anddirect optical control with potential signal amplification for circuit switching. The self-routing operationrelies on the optical recognition of the binary destination address coded in each packet header. Addressdecoding is implemented with elementary optical bistable devices and modulator pixels as all-opticallatches and electro-optical AND gates, respectively. All 60 defect-free channels of the system could beoperated one by one, but the simultaneous operation of only three channels could be achieved mainlybecause of the spatial nonhomogeneities of the devices. Direct-control operation is based on directlysetting the bistable device reflectivity with a variable-control beam power. This working mode turnedout to be much more tolerant of spatial noises: 37 channels of the system could be operated simultaneously.Further development of the system to a crossbar of N inputs and M outputs and systemminiaturization are also considered.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5706-5716
Number of pages11
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number23
Publication statusPublished - Aug 10 1997


  • Address recognition
  • Free-space photonic switching
  • Optical bistable devices
  • Optical logic
  • Self-routing
  • Spatial light modulators

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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

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