Image Number 18 for United States Patent #8050257.
A high capacity network comprises a plurality of edge nodes with asymmetrical connections to a plurality of switch planes, each switch plane comprising fully meshed fast-switching optical switch units. Upstream wavelength channels from each source edge node connect to different switch planes in a manner which ensures that upstream wavelength channels from any two edge nodes connect to a common switch unit in at most a predefined number, preferably one, of switch planes. Thus, switch units in different switch planes connect to upstream channels from orthogonal subsets of source edge nodes. In contrast, downstream wavelength channels from a switch unit in each switch plane connect to one set of sink edge nodes. In an alternate arrangement, the upstream and downstream asymmetry may be reversed.