Lightwave Micromachines for Optical Networks

As data-networking interfaces approach the per-wavelength line rate, while core-transport line rates steadily rise, there is an emerging need for reconfigurable networking at the granularity of an individual wavelength, currently 2.5-10 Gbit/s. This need places severe strains on an already-war-weary arsenal of conventional optoelectronics and thus offers striking opportunities for lightwave micromachines, or micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS), that were implausible only a year or two ago.

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