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Double Duty for MEMS-Based Optical Switch

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Breck Hitz

Optical switches based on microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) are at the heart of next-generation “transparent” optical telecommunications networks. Nearly all of today’s networks are “opaque” in the sense that the optical signal is periodically converted to an electrical one for amplification and switching. A transparent system is one in which the optical signal propagates from one end to the other, and the switching is done optically. Figure 1. In a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) optical switch, incoming light (red arrows) reflects from individually programmable MEMS mirrors so...Read full article

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