Optical Switching

What is an Optical Switch?

An optical switch is a multiport network bridge which connects multiple optic fibers to each other and controls data packets routing between inputs and outputs. Some optical switches convert light to electrical data before forwarding it and converting it into a light signal again. Other optical switches, which are called All-optical, can route and forward the light pulses themselves without any electrical conversion.

fiber optic switch

What is an All-optical switch?

An all optical switch controls the routing between multiple optic fibers without any electrical data conversion. All-optical switches routes the entire light signal which is coming from an optical input and forward it all to an optical output without converting or altering IP level data packets. Because of not using electrical conversion, All-optical switches do not have latency, data corruption or timing jitter.

direct-light-all-optical-switch vs electricatl conversion switch

All-optical Switch Features

  • All-optical switch is a circuit switch with no packet routing
    • Does not selectively route IP packets
    • Switches data on the fiber without conversion
  • All-optical switch uses OOO switching
    • OOO switching optical input, optical switch core and optical output
    • Does not use OEO (Optical - Electrical - Optical ) conversion
    • Switches the entire light signal from one fiber to another
    • Has no timing jitter, latency or data corruption

What types of signals can an all-optical switch route?

Any wavelength that propagates through optical fiber can be transferred and routed through an all-optic switch, including Single mode signals with 1260-1675 nm wavelength and Multimode signals with 850 and 1300 nm wavelength. No data conversion routing method allows all-optic switches to transfer data in any rate and in any format, all-optic switches can route video, audio, data and optical sensor signals, with 400 Gbps+ bandwidth.

Why use fiber switching?

Using fiber switches has many benefits over conventional copper switches. The fiber layer which is used in optical switches is mostly static. This means that optic switch cabling needs to be done only once and can be reconfigured remotely without the need for patching or manual intervention. Optical switches reduce cost, power usage, and electrical conversion delays which create transparent paths with near zero latency. In addition, because fiber optic switching uses management software, it maintains an inventory of cross-connects routing.

Polatis Optical Switches

Huber Suner Polatis optical switches are advanced all-optical switches with non-block direct light signal transfer; in addition, Polatis optical switches support SDNs and NETCONF remote control interfaces.

Polatis Optical Switch Advantages

  • Reconfigure your test lab in seconds
  • Automates application development, QA and testing
  • Ultra-low loss and Loss Repeatability
  • Dark fiber switching to pre-configure network topologies and simulate network faults and degradations
  • Transmission format and speed independent to work with all types of traffic signals
  • Available in symmetric (NxN), asymmetric (NxM) and single-sided “any-to-any” (NxCC) configurations to support a wide range of lab needs
  • Integrated Variable Optical Attenuator (VOA) functionality for sensitivity and dynamic range testing
  • Integrated programmable shutter function enables testing of intermittent fiber breaks
  • Supports a broad range of Software Defined Networking (SDN) Interfaces
  • Integrates seamlessly with test automation platforms such as QualiSystems and Spirent

What is Polatis DirectLight® Optical Switch Technology

DirectLight® optical switch technology transfers light signals directly without using micromirror arrays, which results in ultra-low insertion loss and extremely high performance. DirectLight® optical beam steering technology uses integral position sensors and creates a fully transparent and bi-directional path which is suitable for Single-mode and multimode signals at any light level.

DirextLight optic switch

Network Management and SDN control of Polatis Optical Switches

Polatis optical switch software architecture supports multiple user interfaces for diverse applications. Polatis switch network management have an embedded OpenFlow 1.4 agent which enables hybrid optical circuit and packet switch control panels. Polatis optical switches uses NETCONF & RESTCONF interfaces which are defined by Polatis YANG models, and Polatis network management is integrated with customer SDN controllers including ONOS and Cisco NSO.

SDN optic switch

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