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Title: Control plane hardware design for optical packet switched data centre networks
Author: Andreades, Paris
ISNI:       0000 0004 8508 5225
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2020
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Optical packet switching for intra-data centre networks is key to addressing traffic requirements. Photonic integration and wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) can overcome bandwidth limits in switching systems. A promising technology to build a nanosecond-reconfigurable photonic-integrated switch, compatible with WDM, is the semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA). SOAs are typically used as gating elements in a broadcast-and-select (B&S) configuration, to build an optical crossbar switch. For larger-size switching, a three-stage Clos network, based on crossbar nodes, is a viable architecture. However, the design of the switch control plane, is one of the barriers to packet switching; it should run on packet timescales, which becomes increasingly challenging as line rates get higher. The scheduler, used for the allocation of switch paths, limits control clock speed. To this end, the research contribution was the design of highly parallel hardware schedulers for crossbar and Clos network switches. On a field-programmable gate array (FPGA), the minimum scheduler clock period achieved was 5.0~ns and 5.4~ns, for a 32-port crossbar and Clos switch, respectively. By using parallel path allocation modules, one per Clos node, a minimum clock period of 7.0~ns was achieved, for a 256-port switch. For scheduler application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC) synthesis, this reduces to 2.0~ns; a record result enabling scalable packet switching. Furthermore, the control plane was demonstrated experimentally. Moreover, a cycle-accurate network emulator was developed to evaluate switch performance. Results showed a switch saturation throughput at a traffic load 60% of capacity, with sub-microsecond packet latency, for a 256-port Clos switch, outperforming state-of-the-art optical packet switches.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available