The company next aims to commercialize optical packet networks in 2006 by focusing on local area network (LAN) applications.
It is said that the ultimate photonic network is an optical packet network.
Yokogawa is planning to introduce 40G optical packet networks by developing the required technologies, with a focus on LAN applications.
We will also fully utilize the compound semiconductor technologies that we acquired while developing optical communications modules.
Problems with Current Optical Communications Technologies:
With current optical communications platforms, transmission takes place in the optical domain and processing in the electric domain.
Though signals are transmitted at the speed of light through the optical fiber, they must be converted at both ends to electric signals for processing purposes.
Typically, this technology is used for point-to-point communications. The processing time required by electric circuits is a bottleneck at communication speeds of 40Gbps or higher, and the huge amounts of electricity required for such processing at those speeds is also a significant problem.
What Is an Optical Packet Network?
It is said that the ultimate solution to the above problems is an optical packet network using the packet data communication method in the optical domain.
The packet data communications method is based on TCP/IP protocol and enables the highly efficient sharing of communication lines by large numbers of users.
As has been stated above, many technical challenges remain to be solved before optical communications can graduate from the point-to-point communications stage.
Yokogawa understands that the following are essential requirements for the realization of an optical packet network:
- High speed optical switching
- High speed optical label processing
- Optical packet buffering
- Optical packet scheduling
- Optical packet routing (depending on network topologies)
The development of an optical packet transmitter/receiver to serve as an optical packet network’s interface with Ethernet, Fiber Channel, and other conventional networks is also an important requirement for the establishment of an optical packet network.
Yokogawa has developed such a technology and calls it an Optical Media Manager. The Optical Media Manager executes the following functions:
- Optical packet generation
- Optical packet receiption
- Optical label generation