The sliceable bandwidth variable transceiver (S-BVT) is a key element in addressing the challenges and evolution of optical networks, and supporting the ever-increasing traffic volume, speed, and dynamicity driven by novel and broadband services and applications. Multiple designs and configurations are possible and are evolving towards supporting multi-Tb/s networking, thanks to the adoption of advanced and more mature photonic technologies. In this work, we review and analyze alternative S-BVT design architecture options that target different network segments and applications. We specifically focus on S-BVTs based on multicarrier modulation (MCM), which provide a wide range of granularity and more flexible spectral manipulation. A detailed description of the main elements in an S-BVT and their characteristics is provided in order to give design guidelines. The performance in a real testbed network is also reported, comparing a set of S-BVT configurations that adopt different technologies. Finally, an extensive discussion of the described architecture, functionalities, and results, including programmability aspects, is provided in view of S-BVT evolution towards future optical network requirements and needs.
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