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An All Fiber Magneto-Optical Switch for Networking Applications
Category(s):
For Information, Contact:
Jay Bjerke
Commercialization Manager, Engineering
515-294-4740
licensing@iastate.edu
Web Published:
5/8/2015
ISURF #
3192
Summary:
ISU researchers have developed an optical on-off switch that can meet the fast switching demands required by high speed communications systems.

Development Stage:
An all fiber magneto-optical switch has been designed and demonstrated to have a switching time of about 2 microseconds.

Description:
Fiber-based networks have been used to meet demand for ever increasing bandwidth, and fast switching is required to fully utilize the available bandwidth of the fiber. A variety of switching technologies have been developed to try and achieve fast and reliable switching, including optical micromechanical systems (MEMS)-based switching using silicon technologies, thermal optical switching, electro-optic switching, and acousto-optic switching. However, MEMs and thermo-optic switches suffer from slow (millisecond) switching times, while electro-optic switches have fast (nanosecond) switching times, but suffer from high insertion losses (~ 9 dB). Acousto-optic switches have microsecond switching times, but have insertion losses on the order of 6 dB. To overcome these disadvantages, ISU researchers have developed an all fiber magneto-optic on-off switch based on Faraday rotation of polarized light as it passes through a magneto-optical material. This switch has been demonstrated to have a switching time of 2 microseconds and an insertion loss of 4.8 dB. Because the required external magnetic field is low, the switch also has a simple design and be constructed using a fast solenoid for the drive circuit and a single magneto-optic block as the Faraday rotator

Group:
Advantage:
• Eliminates optical-electronic-optical conversions 
• Decreases switching time compared to MEMs and thermo-optic switches
• Reduces material costs through simple design
Application:
Fiber optic communications; data networks

References:
Patent Information:
*To see the full version of the patent(s), follow the link below, then click on "Images" button.
Country Serial No. Patent No. Issued Date
United States 11/733,855 7,555,177* 6/30/2009
United States 12/112,266 7,916,982* 3/29/2011


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