Recently, many optical packet switches have been proposed, to overcome to potential problems of future large electronic switch cores. The need for buffering arises due to the unscheduled nature of packet arrivals at the switch inputs, and several strategies have evolved to implement this buffering. Examples of these are discussed in this paper, including the use of wavelength to assist in contention resolution; where contending packets can usually be transmitted on different wavelengths. Also, the implementation of multi-stage buffers is discussed, using differing technologies, both with and without deflection routing.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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