EECS researchers developing technologies to improve the performance of optical networks.

EECS researchers recently received support from the National Science Foundation to develop new technologies to improve Internet performance by increasing high spectral efficiency and robustness against signal quality corruption and which enables flexible spectrum and grid-less transmission in optical networks.

Supported by the National Science Foundation EECS Professor Ron Hui in collaboration with Dr. Andrea Fumagalli of the University of Texas, Dallas are investigating new technologies to improve the performance of optical networks. Green networking keeps energy consumption under control while still guaranteeing good service quality. In a typical internet router, up to 60 percent of its energy is used for packet forwarding. Circuit switching, on the other hand, does not require per-packet store-and-forward and can potentially be more energy efficient. Currently optical signals are placed on a fixed grid of optical frequencies, and optical spectrum is not efficiently utilized.  This research is investigating grid-less approaches to achieve high spectral efficiency, fine data rate granularity, and robustness against signal quality corruption, which enables flexible bandwidth allocation in optical networks.

This research leverages digital subcarrier multiplexing (DSCM) to extend the circuit-oriented practice from the optical network core all the way to the network periphery ultimately offering dedicated broadband DSCM circuits to end-users.

Optical Networking Laboratory