Saturday 1 November 2014

Researchers Are Promoting And Increasing the Switching Contrast Of an All-Optical Flip-Flop

The switching contrast of an all optical flip-flop has been increased by 28 dB and this has been done by the researchers at the Rochester Institute of Technology based in New York. Due to this increase the resultant switching contrast; have been achieved at now 36.6 dB.

This development will be adding a lot of benefit and will allow increased performance of a whole range of the photonic techniques like for example, all-optical label addressing, all-optical packet switching, and square-wave clock generation.

Apart from these, other photonic devices like passive nonlinear media and even housing semiconductor optical amplifiers will show a leap in terms of their performance.


When it comes to all-optical flip-flops, they give a path for the sequential signal processing. This is completely opposite to the signal processing which is combinational in the optical domain. Devices based on the combinational processing get the added advantage of latchable control signal due to the sequential-processing nature of all-optical flip-flops.

According to Drew Maywar who is among the authors of letter, the University of Tokyo, and Eindhoven University of Technology as well as optical-packet switching which was performed at the University of Ghent made use of optical flip-flops to drive data-wavelength converters, which helped them to attain a wavelength that can help in the routing of the optical packets?

According to Drew, there are some of the optical flip-flops whose switching performance is very poor and have specific polarization states. The cycle switching time is more than 1 ns which is not ideal for many applications.


Nonlinear polarization rotation and optical dispersive bi-stability were the two disparate physical processes which were exploited by the team to achieve the contrast enhancement of 28 dB. This resulted in the increased switching contrast due to the bi-stable polarization rotation in combination with the linear polarizer.

According to Drew, the research team was able to develop a latchable polarization switch. One of the advantages of the enhancement was that it was able to outperform against the performance of standard method that was being used to measure contrast.

According to the previous standards in order to achieve a contrast of 5 dB, oscilloscope and photodiode were more than enough, but once the contrast technique was improved, the upper bound for the contrast was increased to 15 dB.


Currently, Drew is expecting that their latest work can be extended to other forms of resonators like distributed feedback structures, rings, vertical cavities and loops. They are hoping it to be extended to nonlinear media like SiO2 and In P.

They are hoping that the new flip-flops become the building blocks for devices contributing to large functional photonic subsystems. The team will be working on making the miniatures of the all optical flip flops.

Mayway hopes that the all optical flip flops will be continuously researched on contribute to the future. They contribute to improving the performance of switch and is able to tackle drive power issues.

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