Optical Circuit Switching

What Does Optical Circuit Switching Mean?

Optical Circuit Switching (OCS) is an optical networking technology. In OCS, the network is configured to establish acircuit, from an entry to an exit node, by adjusting the optica lcross connect circuits in the core routers in a manner that the data signal, in an optical form, can travel in an all-optical manner from the entry to the exit node. This approach suffers from all thedisadvantages known to circuit switching – the circuits require timeto set up and to destroy, and while the circuit is established, theresources will not be efficiently used to the unpredictable nature ofnetwork traffic.


Techopedia Explains Optical Circuit Switching

Ideally, the packets that enter the network should be transported from the ingress to the egress point in an all-optical form. The technology needed to process the headers of the packets using only optics is not yet available, and thus, the packets need to be converted to electrical form so that current electronic integrated circuits can interpret the header and make the convenient routing decisions. After the routing has been decided, the packet is again converted to optical form and inserted into the fibre. Current networks that transmit data using optical fibres usually work this way. In Optical Packet Switching (OPS), the switching and/or routing of the packets will be performed purely in the optical domain.


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Margaret Rouse

Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…