El mundo óptico

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ITU-T Technology Watch surveys the ICT landscape to capture new topics for standardization activities. Technology Watch Reports assess new technologies with regard to existing standards inside and
outside ITU-T and their likely impact on future standardization.

Previous reports in the series include:

Intelligent Transport Systems and CALM
Telepresence: High-Performance Video-ConferencingICTs and Climate Change
Ubiquitous Sensor Networks
Remote Collaboration Tools
Technical Aspects of Lawful Interception
NGNs and Energy Efficiency
Standardization Activities for Intelligent Transport Systems
Distributed Computing: Utilities, Grids & Clouds
The Future Internet
ICTs and Food Security
Biometrics and Standards
Decreasing Driver Distraction
ICT as an Enabler for SmartWater Management
Using Submarine Communications Networks to
Monitor the Climate

The Optical World
ITU-T Technology Watch Report
June 2011
The use of optical technologies in computing is very promising indeed for the future. It will help to support
the bandwidth requirements of next-generation networks, cloud computing and the expansion of the Internet.
Major breakthroughs are expected inthe areas of optical networking, silicon photonics, nanotechnologies
and non-linear optics which could lead to major changes in the way computers, networks and data centres
are designed. This ITU-T Technology Watch Report provides an overview of the optical world and surveys
standards and ongoing research that will lead to a new generation of Internet and computing devices.http://www.itu.int/ITU-T/techwatch

Printed in Switzerland
Geneva, 2011

The rapid change of the telecommunication/information and communication technologies (ICT)
environment requires related technology foresight and immediate action in order to propose possible
ITU-T standardization activities as early as possible.
ITU-T Technology Watch surveys the ICT landscape to capture new topics forstandardization activities.
Technology Watch Reports assess new technologies with regard to existing standards inside and outside
ITU-T and their likely impact on future standardization.

Acknowledgements
This report was prepared by Young Han Choe and Venkatesen Mauree of the ITU Telecommunication
Standardization Bureau. The authors are grateful for the support given by Janet Burgess.
Please send yourfeedback and comments to tsbtechwatch@itu.int.
The opinions expressed in this report are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of
the International Telecommunication Union or its membership.
This report, along with other Technology Watch Reports can be found at http://www.itu.int/
ITU-T/techwatch.
Cover photos: Shutterstock: “Motherboard PC” (© Vasil Vasilev)Technology Watch is managed by the Policy & Technology Watch Division, ITU Telecommunication
Standardization Bureau.

Call for Proposals
Experts from industry, research and academia are invited to submit topic proposals and abstracts for
future reports in the Technology Watch series. Please contact us at tsbtechwatch@itu.int for details and
guidelines.

© ITU 2011
All rights reserved. No part ofthis publication may be reproduced, by any means whatsoever, without
the prior written permission of ITU.

ITU-T Technology Watch

Table of contents
Page
I.

Introduction ...................................................................................................................................... 1

II.

Why optical technology?................................................................................................................... 1

III. Optical communication networks and devices ................................................................................... 3
IV. Standardization activities................................................................................................................... 4
4.1

Optical Transport Network (OTN)...
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