UltraFlow Access Testbed: Experimental Exploration of Dual-Mode Access Networks

TitleUltraFlow Access Testbed: Experimental Exploration of Dual-Mode Access Networks
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsYin, S., A. R. Dhaini, T S. Shen, B. A. Detwiler, M D. Leenheer, T. Ucar, and L. G. Kazovsky
JournalJournal of Optical Communications and Networking
Start Page1361
Date PublishedDecember 2013

Electrical packet switching is well known as a flexible solution for small data transfers, whereas optical flow switching (OFS) might be an effective solution for large Internet file transfers. The UltraFlow project, a joint effort of three universities, Stanford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and University of Texas–Dallas, aims at providing an efficient dual-mode solution (i.e., IP and OFS) to the current network. In this paper, we propose and experimentally demonstrate UltraFlow Access, a novel optical access network that enables dual-mode service to the end users: IP and OFS. The new architecture cooperates with legacy passive optical networks (PONs) to provide both IP and novel OFS services. The latter is facili- tated by a novel optical flow network unit (OFNU) that we have proposed, designed, and experimentally demon- strated. Different colored and colorless OFNU designs are presented, and their impact on the network perfor- mance is explored. Our testbed experiments demonstrate concurrent bidirectional 1.25 Gbps IP and 10 Gbps per-wavelength Flow error-free communication delivered over the same infrastructure. The support of intra-PON OFS communication, that is, between two OFNUs in the same PON, is also explored and experimentally demonstrated.