Free-SpacePhotonics in Switching
Free-space digital optics is a new technology that exploits the ability of optics to handle thousands of light beams, or information channels, at once. This and other features of optics complement the strengths and weaknesses of purely electronic systems. Especially when combined with electronics, free-space optics allows the development of new architectures in digital systems. In particular, it offers large numbers of closely spaced interconnections inside digital processors that can be used to make large digital switching fabrics. In this paper, we outline some of the strengths and weaknesses of this emerging technology, and we briefly describe some of its experimental systems.
H. S. Hinton and D. A. B. Miller, "Free-Space Photonics In Switching," AT&T Technical Journal,Vol. 71, No. 1, January, 1992, pp. 84-92.