Acousto-optic Switch Matrices

The vast information capacity of optical fiber is widely touted, but substantial problems remain—multiplexing many sources of data onto the same optical carrier. The technique of time division multiplexing involves sorting and packing bits into ever smaller time slots as the information rate increases—something that becomes ever more difficult with increasing capacity. A very different two-tiered approach is to subdivide the useful optical spectrum into many independent wavelength channels, each of which carries a more manageable electronic information bandwidth.

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