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OPTICAL SWITCHING The Lucent LambdaRouter MEMS Technology of the Future Here Today David J Bishop C Randy Giles and Gary P Austin Lucent Technologies ABSTRACT MEMS devices are beginning to impact almost every area of science and technology In fields as disparate as wireless communications automotive design entertainment and lightwave systems MEMS is increasingly becoming a key technology In this article we discuss MEMS devices in general show how and where they will be used in lightwave systems and then show in detail how they are allowing a billion dollar business to be born that of large all optical crossconnects In particular we will highlight one particular device the Lucent LambdaRouter and show how it is built from the chip on up and discuss its performance and applications INTRODUCTION Despite the recent slowdown in the telecom equipment market the underlying fundamentals of our industry remain strong The demand for bandwidth the driver for everything we do is still growing at a compound annual growth rate CAGR of 100 percent This then drives the need for ultra long haul transmission systems optical crossconnects at the nodes metro rings to feed these core networks and access networks to drive bandwidth into all of the above All of this will be done under the control of MPLS signaling protocols In this article we focus on the role of the large optical crossconnect for core switching and show how MEMS is the only technology currently capable of allowing high capacity scalable architectures The need for crossconnects in core networks is driven by the desire of service providers to offer a rich new class of wavelength services Designing networks around wavelengths instead of packets allows the construction of networks that combine the attributes of ultra high capacity scalability flexibility self healing and auto provisioning with time of day services and bandwidth by the minute hour week or year An example of such a network is shown in Fig 1 The core of the



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