DARPA on the hunt for terabit optical routers

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency has awarded contracts worth $6.3 million to a second team of researchers in its quest for a 100-Tbps, all-optical router.

The team, headed by the University of California at Santa Barbara, will push the limits of optical devices that can be integrated on a single chip board. The goal of DARPA's four-year Label Switched Optical Router program is a 100-fold in-crease in routing speeds.

A team led by Lucent Technologies Inc. of Murray Hill, N.J., received DARPA contracts last month to work on similar technology.

The LASOR team's tunable, all-optical wavelength converter will direct packets through the router based on the light's wavelength, or color. The resulting product would reduce to a single router line card the functions of a current router occupying an entire 7-foot equipment rack.

Other members of the LASOR team are Agility Communications Inc. of Santa Barbara, Calif.; Calient Networks Inc., Cisco Systems Inc. and JDS Uniphase Corp., all of San Jose, Calif.; and Stanford University of Palo Alto, Calif.

About the Author

William Jackson is a Maryland-based freelance writer.

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