Buffering management is a crucial function in current optical packet switching (OPS) networks. To avoid packet blocking due to competition for the same switched path, optical buffering is required to queue packets after a router makes the forwarding decision. In this paper, the author proposed a buffering scheme based on optical code-division multiple access (OCDMA), where each packet is encoded with an optical signature code. An optical coding technique combining spectral-amplitude coding (SAC) and two-code keying (TCK) is introduced to advance the buffering performance regarding packet loss probability. In TCK, the payload bits “1” and “0” of a stored packet are respectively converted to a SAC signal and its complementarity. As the Hamming distance between the coding signals of bits “1” and “0” is extended, the existing drawback that the OCDMA-based buffer capacity is limited by the decoder noise increased with the number of queued SAC packets is resolved. Moreover, an encoder consisting of a fiber Bragg grating (FBG) array is applied for simplifying the system design. A SAC signal and its complementary counterpart can be generated simultaneously without the need of an extra encoder.
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