Digital subcarrier cross-connects (DSXCs)




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The University of Texas at Dallas


Traditional (analog) Frequency Division Multiplexing (FDM) was widely used in the pre-SONET/SDH era, to multiplex transport channels together using spectral diversity. These transport solutions were then gradually abandoned due in part to their low spectral efficiency and with the advent of Time Division Multiplexing (TDM), which lead to synchronous transmission techniques, such as SONET and SDH. Another problem of traditional FDM or Subcarrier Multiplexing (SCM) ─ being analog ─ is its susceptibility to accumulated waveform distortion and crosstalk. For these reasons FDM is not competitive in today’s transport networks. Digital signal processing continues to reach new record high rates, thus enabling Digital Subcarrier Crossconnects (DSXCs) to operate even at the high transmission rates of optical signals. In DSXC, the incoming subcarriers are switched to the outgoing subcarriers by a controlled Radio Frequency (RF) crossbar switch. The power consumption required to switch subcarriers in and out is estimated to be only a fraction of the power dissipated by current TDM and packet switching based transport network solutions. Multiple DSXCs can be combined to design Digital Subcarrier Optical Networks (DSONs) [1], which are a promising energy efficient alternative to current electronic-based transport network techniques, e.g., OTN/SONET/SDH/MPLS-TP. The DSXC’s basic functionalities and modules are introduced and discussed in this paper.


"This research was supported in part by NSF Grant No. CNS-1111329."


Energy consumption, Transport networks, Circuit switched networks, Digital subcarrier, Digital subcarrier optical network, Digital subcarrier cross-connect


©2012 IEEE