The Virtual Bookcase Reviews of 'Multiwavelength Optical Networks: A Layered Approach':
Reviewer Rob Slade wrote:
The book is intended both as a course text, and professional
(engineering) reference, for wavelength-division multiplexed (WDM)
optical networks: those networks that use different "colours" of light
in a single physical path, either to create separate communications
channels or increase bandwidth.
Chapter one introduces the general situation for optical networks: the
need for higher bandwidth and the limitations that leave existing
optical paths mostly unused. Some attempt is made to explain basic
technologies. This material is accessible to the intelligent non-
specialist, but it lacks depth for those not fully familiar with
photonic technologies. For example, the point is made that optical
systems are fast but dumb, and electronic systems are intelligent but
slow, but there is no specific comparison of the current and
theoretical switching speeds for equivalent optical and electronic
discrete components. Designs for switches and other node elements are
presented in chapter two, although the material could be improved with
the addition of some discussion of the physical components themselves.
Study problems are included, and, although not simple, they may be
simplistic in terms of testing for full comprehension. The
topological, connection, and physical layer protocol discussions in
chapter three make it a bit of a mixed bag.
It is in chapter four that we get some of the background needed to
understand the content in the previous section, with explanations of
optical fibre, lasers, detectors, switches, and so forth. Functions
and characteristics of static multipoint networks are outlined in
chapter five, with wavelength routed networks in chapter six, and
logically routed networks in chapter seven.
Chapter eight looks at survivability and restoration topologies.
Current trends in multiwavelength technologies are reviewed in chapter
The appendices discuss theory, algorithms, and the SONET standard.
While the organization of the material is not always straightforward,
the content is useful to the student or worker in the multiwavelength
copyright Robert M. Slade, 1999
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