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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.
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.