Published Online: 15 JUL 2004
Copyright © 2003 by WILEY-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co KGaA. All rights reserved.
Encyclopedia of Applied Physics
How to Cite
Alferness, R. C., Kogelnik, H. and Wood, T. H. 2004. Optical Networks. Encyclopedia of Applied Physics. .
- Published Online: 15 JUL 2004
With the explosion of capacity demands driven by the Internet, optical networking systems are experiencing tremendous growth and are providing increasingly high transmission capacities. As importantly, with the advent of the optical amplifier and wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM), optics is playing a larger role in networking and is extending further to the edge of the network. Once limited to long-haul point-to-point systems, the industry is now commercializing multipoint metro WDM ring systems that include software-controlled optical wavelength add/drop multiplexers and will soon be capable of offering large optical cross connects. These optical network elements, together with network-management software, will enable rapid provisioning of wavelength services, as well as rapid network restoration. In addition, as the cost of optics is driven down and the demand for bandwidth to businesses and residential customers continues to grow, optical systems are extending out from the network core and metro to access applications. The confluence of a proliferation of broadband service applications and rapidly maturing optical technology are literally driving optical systems into all segments. Increasingly, optics is literally everywhere.
- optical fiber communication;
- photonic networks;
- high-capacity information transmission integrated optics;
- optical access technology;
- broadband access