Optical communication technology uses principles of light transmission in a glass medium, which can carry more information over longer distances than electrical signals can carry in a copper or coaxial medium. All-optical networks have been developed to meet two main objectives: reaching higher data transmission bandwidths and reducing the overall cost of backbone networks. This chapter focuses on principles of optical networks, wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM), and switching used in optical computer networks. Following are the major topics covered:
• Overview of optical networks
• Basic optical networking devices
• Large-scale optical switches
• Structure of optical cross connects (OXCs ...