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By goodvin | 18 May 2023 | 1 Comments

Fiber Optic Switch: Basic Elements in Optical Switching Devices

                   Fiber Optic Switch: Basic Elements in Optical Switching Devices

Fiber optic switch is a kind of optical path controller, which plays the role of converting the optical path. It is the basic component of the optical switching system in the optical fiber communication system, and is widely used in dry optical path monitoring systems and optical fiber sensing systems. Optical fiber communication devices include two categories of optical transmission devices and optical switching devices. After years of development, wavelength division multiplexing optical transmission devices have become more and more mature, especially the great progress of wavelength division multiplexer, wavelength division multiplexing light source and wavelength division multiplexing optical amplifier, which has transformed optical transmission from 0-E-0 to 0-0-0, making optical fiber communication a big step towards all-opticalization. However, optical switching devices, including optical cross-connector (OXC) and optical add-drop multiplexer (OADM), and their basic devices, fiber optic switch, are basically optoelectronic hybrids. There are three functions of fiber optical switch in Optical fiber communication system: one is to cut off or open the optical signal of a certain fiber channel; the other is to convert the optical signal of a certain wavelength from one fiber channel to another fiber channel; The third is to convert an optical signal of one wavelength into an optical signal of another wavelength in the same fiber channel (wavelength converter). At present, the optical switch manufacturer's process is relatively standardized, and the increase in market competition makes the price of fiber optic switch more and more popular.
What are the main characteristic parameters of fiber optic switch?
Some parameters have the same definitions as other devices, while others are specific to fiber optical switches. The characteristic parameters of fiber optic switch are listed as follows:
.Insertion Loss: The reduction in optical power between the input and output ports
.Return loss: the ratio of the optical power returned from the input to the input optical power
.Isolation: optical power ratio of two phase-isolated output ports
. Far-end crosstalk: the ratio of the output optical power of the connected port of the fiber optical switch to the output optical power of the other port in series
.Near-End Crosstalk: The ratio of the optical power of a connected port to another nominally isolated port when the other port is terminated
.Operating wavelength: 1310nm/1550nm/850nm
.Extinction ratio: the ratio of the output optical power when the two ports of the fiber optical switch are on and off
.Service life: The number of times the optical path is allowed to be converted
.Switching time or switching speed: When the optical channel is set to switch, protection switching, packet switching, and external modulation, the time required for the port of the fiber optical switch to turn on or off from a certain initial time is applied to the fiber optical switch. Or measure from the moment when the conversion energy is removed.
What is the classification of fiber optic switch?
The following introduction will describe the fiber optic switch types and functional characteristics, as follows:
1. Mechanical fiber optic switch: use the drive mechanism to drive the active optical fiber or reflector, so that it can be connected to the required optical fiber or optical waveguide according to the command signal requirements, specific classification: fiber optical switch for moving optical fibers and fiber for moving micromirrors optical switch.
Advantages: low insertion loss, high isolation, independent of polarization and wavelength
Disadvantages: long switching time (in the order of milliseconds), bounce jitter, poor repeatability
Realization form: moving fiber, moving sleeve, moving collimator, moving mirror, moving prism, moving coupling
device, MEMS
2. Non-mechanical fiber optic switch: The working principle varies depending on different types of fiber optical switches. Non-mechanical fiber optic switches are further divided into: fiber switches composed of optical devices and waveguide-based fiber switches, which are electro-optical switches. Effect optical switch, thermo-optic effect optical switch, acousto-optic effect optical switch, magneto-optic effect optical switch.
Advantages: short switching times, small size, easy integration
Disadvantages: large insertion loss, low isolation, or polarization and wavelength dependence
The mechanical fiber optic switch is the most traditional and the most mature fiber optical switch in the Optical fiber communication system.
3. Other fiber optic switch: liquid crystal optical switch, bubble optical switch, holographic optical switch, nonlinear optical loop mirror optical switch, etc.
Judging from the current usage, the commonly used fiber optic switches have the following categories: mechanical fiber switch; liquid crystal fiber switch; electro-optical fiber switch; thermo-optical fiber switch; sound-optical fiber switch. Among them, the price of MEMS fiber optic switch is more expensive than other types, and the optical switch manufacturer's process is also more refined.
In the optical fiber communication system, there are requirements for the switching performance of the fiber optic switch. What are the specific ones?
Small crosstalk; large extinction ratio; low insertion loss; small driving voltage; no polarization dependence; compact device size; fast switching speed; low polarization loss; high isolation; high coupling efficiency with fiber ;Can be integrated on a large scale;Low cost;High reliability
With the continuous development of the fiber optic communication system, the optical switch, a key device, has to continuously upgrade its performance. Therefore, there are higher requirements for the optical switch manufacturer, and the price of the fiber optic switch will also be adjusted.
Are we curious about what material the fiber optic switch is made of? What are the characteristics of each?
Si and SiO2: low loss, good mode matching with optical fiber, compatible with large-scale IC, large thermo-optic coefficient, suitable for making thermo-optic electro-optic switches and matrices, but only passive devices.
·LiNbO3: It has a large electro-optical effect, acousto-optical effect, suitable for making electro-optical switches, acousto-optical switches, large size and high working voltage.
III-V semiconductors: It can be used to make light-emitting detection and electronic devices, which is convenient for photon integration, easy to miniaturize, has electro-optic effect, nonlinear optical effect, and is suitable for making electro-optic switches. The waveguide loss is large, and it is difficult to match the optical fiber mode.
·Organic polymer: low cost, suitable for large-scale production, with electro-optic and thermo-optic effects, suitable for making electro-optic and thermo-optic switches. Large waveguide loss, large crosstalk, and poor stability.
From the perspective of these different types of materials and characteristics, different optical switches have different application neighborhoods, so the optical switch manufacturer's process is different, the material cost is also different, and the final fiber optic switch price will also be different.
Next, I will introduce the application of fiber optic switch. In which fields is fiber optical switch used?
Fiber optic switch plays a very important role in optical network, it not only constitutes the gateway of wavelength division multiplexing optical network.
The switching core of the key equipment (OADM/OXC) itself is also a key device in the optical network. Its application scope mainly includes:
1. Protection switching function: fiber optic switch is usually used for network fault recovery. When the optical fiber is broken or other transmission failure occurs, the fiber optical switch is used to realize the signal detour route, and switch from the main route to the backup route. This protection usually only requires the simplest 1x2 optical switch.
2. Optical device test: Multiple optical devices to be tested can be connected through optical fibers, and through 1xN fiber optical switch, the device can be tested by monitoring the signal of each channel of the fiber switch.
3. Network monitoring function: Use a simple 1×N fiber optical switch to connect multiple fibers. When it is necessary to monitor the network, it is only necessary to connect the multi-fiber to the network monitoring instrument (such as OTDR) through the optical switch at the remote monitoring point. Through the action of the optical switch, the online monitoring of the network can be realized.
4. Constructing the switching core of the OXC equipment: OXC is mainly used in the backbone network to aggregate and exchange services of different subnets. Therefore, it is necessary to exchange services on different ports. At the same time, the use of fiber optical switch enables OXC to dynamically configure switching services and support protection switching functions, and supports wavelength routing configuration and dynamic routing at the optical layer. Because OXC is mainly used in high-speed and large-capacity dense wavelength division multiplexing backbone network, the fiber optic switch is required to have the characteristics of transparency, high speed and large capacity.
5. Build the core of OADM equipment: OADM is one of the key equipment of optical network, usually used in metropolitan area network and backbone network. The specific way to realize the adding and dropping of OADM optical signals, but in most cases, a fiber optical switch, mainly a 2x2 optical switch, is used to realize the adding and dropping function of optical signals in a dense wavelength division multiplexing optical network. Due to the use of fiber optic switch, the OADM can dynamically configure services, which enhances the flexibility of the OADM node. At the same time, the OADM node can support protection switching. When the network fails, the node switches the faulty service to the backup route, which enhances the flexibility of the OADM node. Network survivability and network protection and resilience.
Fiber optic switches and optical switch arrays are important optical components in fiber optic communication systems. As networks turn to all-optical platforms, network functions such as wide-area optimization, routing, protection, and self-healing have become critical, all of which are inseparable from optical switches. OPELINK is a professional fiber optic switch Supplier, providing various types of optical switches to the world, mainly: 1x1, dual 1x1, 1x2, dual 1x2, 2x2, dual 2x2, 1xN, dual 1xN, 2xN, MxN, 1xNxM, etc., The price of our fiber optic switch is reasonable, experienced production and management personnel ensure the quality of optical switch manufacturer, and we will continue to provide good products to the market.


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