In a MEMS optical switch, a micro-mirror is used
to reflect a light beam.
The direction in which the light beam is reflected
can be changed by rotating the mirror to different
angles, allowing the input light to be connected to
any output port.
This type of optical switch has been realized for
the first time through the fusion of various
techniques such as micro-machining techniques
for fabricating the mirror, optical design
techniques for achieving low-loss optical
connections, and control techniques for
positioning the mirror accurately.
What are the features?
Can switch optical signals without converting
them into electrical signals.
Allows compact low-loss switches to be formed
on any scale.
Switching can be performed in 10-30 msec.
What can it do?
Since this device can switch large numbers of
optical signals simultaneously, it can be used as a
trunk switch for handling large amounts of
traffic, and as a switch in large urban
Why optical switches
Explosive network traffic
Rapidly growing data rate and port count
Bottleneck due to conventional OEO switches
(bandwidth, bit error rate and capacity
Competition is in the high date rate range
What are the options
(From Tellium Inc)
MEMS Optical Switches
What is MEMS
What is MEMS optical switches
Steerable micro mirror array to direct optical light
from input port to its destination port.
2D MEMS Switches
Mirrors have only 2 positions (cross or bar)
3D MEMS Switches
Mirrors can be
tilted to any angles
N or 2N mirrors
Electrostatic Well understood
Nonlinearity in force-
High driving voltages.
Electromagnetic Large force
Reliability to be
No holdup voltage
small steps (10nm)
less than electrical switch core