The use of hardware that exploits the interplay of photons and electrons to switch voice, data, and video is discussed. The two directions being taken by current research-guided-wave and free-space photonics-are examined. Photonic time-slot interchanges are described. Multidivisional fabrics, based on a combination of space-division and time-division multiplexing, are considered, as is the wavelength-division-based photonic packet switch, another kind of multidimensional fabric. The use of self-electrooptic effect devices, (SEEDs) is discussed.
H. S. Hinton, "Switching to Photonics," IEEE Spectrum, Vol. 29, No. 2, pp. 42-45, February 1992.