1.3. Multiplexing, Grooming, and Switching

Transmission systems alone are not enough to build an optical network. Optical signals need to be multiplexed and demultiplexed at the end points. They also need to be groomed and switched at intermediate nodes. Grooming is the function of dropping a lower rate signal from one rate speed signal and adding it to another. Switching allows a signal received on one input port and channel to be transmitted on a different output port and channel.

Based on the switch fabric technology, optical switches can be broadly classified into two categories—opaque (or OEO) and transparent (or OOO) [Mouftah+98, Hinton93]. Opaque optical switches, also called optical cross-connects or OXCs, convert optical signals received ...

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