Asynchronous digital optical regeneration and networks

David Cotter*, Andrew D. Ellis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper outlines the concept of the asynchronous digital optical network, which is aimed to combine the advantages, and overcome the drawbacks, of existing approaches to photonic networking. The network is based on digital optical transmission and processing, which offers the prospect of almost infinite scalability. Optical transmission throughout the network is in burst mode, using a standard digital optical signal format. The main defining feature of the asynchronous network is that the network nodes (in which the optical processing and routing take place) do not share global synchronization at the bit level. Instead, the nodes each operate with independent bit-level clocks. This approach removes the architectural constraints found in synchronous networks. An essential component of the network is the asynchronous digital optical regenerator. Various design and performance aspects of this new type of regenerator are analyzed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2068-2080
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 1998


  • communication systems
  • digital communication
  • networks
  • optical communication
  • synchronization
  • time division multiplexing
  • timing jitter


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