IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications

A Wavelength Division Multiple Access Network for Computer Communication

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This paper describes a first-generation design point (Rainbow) for optical wavelength division multiaccess (WDMA) computer networks. The Rainbow research prototype takes the form of a direct detection, circuit-switched metropolitan area network (MAN) backbone consisting of 32 IBM PS/2’s as gateway stations, communicating with each other at 200 Mb/s data rates and submillisecond switching times. We discuss architectural options for realizing WDMA networks and our reasons for choosing this design point. Experimental measurements on the prototype are presented. We then discuss ways of extending this prototype to more stations, higher bit rates, and faster setup time. © 1990 IEEE