Abstract

We present a digital free-space photonic switch structure that uses exciton absorption reflection switch (EARS) arrays. The network topology of the switch is a banyan network. This switch structure uses microbeam interconnections to realize a compact switch fabric. The low-loss interconnection that is necessary for high-speed operation can be achieved by the use of an optical system based on birefringent plates. A prototype switch (based on an 8 × 8 EARS array) with fiber array pigtails is fabricated and used to demonstrate two-input, two-output switching of 8-Mbits/s signals. This digital switch may be applicable to large-scale, multistage switching networks for optical interconnections and broadband telecommunication switching systems.

© 1994 Optical Society of America

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