Journal of Lightwave Technology

A Dynamically-Reconfigurable Burst-Mode Link Using a Nanosecond Photonic Switch

View publication


Fast optical circuit switching has significant potential to solve scaling issues with traditional packet-switch-based networks and improve bandwidth and power efficiency in datacenter and high-performance computing applications. One difficultly in utilizing a fast optical switch is that the optical signal must be rapidly reacquired after each switching event so as to not significantly impact the overall throughput of the system. Here we present a system-level integration of a nanosecond-scale 2 × 2 silicon photonic switch with a 25-Gbps burst-mode receiver that can lock in 31 ns. A novel FPGA-based control plane was used to generate test data, control the silicon photonic switch and burst-mode receiver, and measure bit errors at 12.5 and 20 Gbps. Error-free links (BER < 10-12) with system-level reconfiguration times below 60 ns (at 20 Gbps) and 90 ns (at 12.5 Gbps) including bit- and frame-synchronization are demonstrated.