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Ultrafast Optical Switch Unveiled

Photonics Spectra
Dec 1998
Michael D. Wheeler

Researchers at the Heinrich-Hertz-Institute für Nachrichtentechnik, have developed an all-optical switch that could speed the flow of data transmission worldwide.
Since the advent of the Internet, networks have become flooded with data. Jams occur not only on transmission lines, but also at the junctions where switches control the flow of signals.
Traditionally, optoelectronic solutions are limited by the speed of electronic components and typically do not exceed rates of 40 Gb/s. Now researchers have developed an all-optical switch that can transmit data at a rate of 640 Gb/s. Institute officials say that the new switch outperforms conventional switches with increased bandwidth and little crosstalk.

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