OSA's Digital Library

Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 27, Iss. 9 — May. 1, 1988
  • pp: 1721–1726

Sorting with optical compare-and-exchange modules

Charles W. Stirk and Ravindra A. Athale  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 27, Issue 9, pp. 1721-1726 (1988)

View Full Text Article

Enhanced HTML    Acrobat PDF (893 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



Sorting is central to the solution of many knowledge-based and switching problems in advanced computation and communication systems. Parallel-pipelined sorting algorithms are appropriate for applications that demand high throughput, low delay, and many data channels. One such algorithm, the bitonic sort, can be implemented with passive perfect shuffle interconnects between active stages of compare-and-exchange (C&E) elements. In this paper we focus on optical hardware to implement the C&E operation and show that, by taking advantage of a distinctive feature of optical logic, namely, bistability, comparison circuits of remarkable simplicity are attainable. We describe implementations of C&E in a variety of optical device technologies capable of performing latching and nonlatching logic. Based on the device characteristics we outline potential application areas for each technology.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: August 18, 1987
Published: May 1, 1988

Charles W. Stirk and Ravindra A. Athale, "Sorting with optical compare-and-exchange modules," Appl. Opt. 27, 1721-1726 (1988)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset  


  1. D. E. Knuth, The Art of Computer Programming, Vol. 3, Sorting and Searching (Addison-Wesley, Reading, MA, 1973).
  2. J. T. Schwartz, “Ultracomputers,” ACM Trans. Program Lang. Syst. 2, 484 (1980). [CrossRef]
  3. K. E. Batcher, “Sorting Networks and Their Applications,” in Proceedings, 1968 Spring Joint Computer Conference, Vol. 32 (AFIPS Press, Reston, VA, 1968), pp. 307–314.
  4. H. P. Moravec, “Fully Interconnecting Multiple Computers with Pipelined Sorting Nets,” IEEE Trans. Comput. C-28, 795 (1979). [CrossRef]
  5. A. Huang, S. Knauer, “Starlite: A Wideband Digital Switch,” in Proceedings, IEEE Global Telecommunications Conference, Atlanta, GA, Vol. 1, p. 121 (Nov.1984).
  6. J. W. Goodman, F. J. Leonberger, S. Y. Kung, R. A. Athale, “Optical Interconnections for VLSI Systems,” Proc. IEEE 72, 850 (1984). [CrossRef]
  7. J. E. Midwinter, “Light Electronics, Myth or Reality?,” IEE Proc. 132, Pt. J, No. 6, 371 (1985).
  8. A. Huang, “The Relationship Between STARLITE, a Wideband Digital Switch and Optics,” in Proceedings, International Conference on Communications, Toronto (22June1986).
  9. A. W. Lohmann, “What Classical Optics Can Do for the Digital Optical Computer,” Appl. Opt. 25, 1543 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  10. H. S. Hinton, “Applications of the Photonic Switching Technology for Telecommunications Switching,” in Proceedings, International Conference on Communications (7–10 June 1987), to be published.
  11. J. E. Midwinter, “Novel Approach to the Design of Optically Activated Wideband Switching Matrices,” IEE Proc. 134, Pt. J, No. 5, 261 (1985).
  12. C. D. Thompson, “The VLSI Complexity of Sorting,” IEEE Trans. Comput. C-32, 1171 (1983). [CrossRef]
  13. H. S. Stone, “Parallel Processing with the Perfect Shuffle,” IEEE Trans. Comput. C-20, 153 (1971). [CrossRef]
  14. A. Lohmann, W. Stork, G. Stucke, “Optical Implementation of the Perfect Shuffle,” in Technical Digest of Topical Meeting on Optical Computing (Optical Society of America, Washington, DC, 1985), paper WA3.
  15. C. W. Stirk, R. A. Athale, M. W. Haney, “Folded Perfect Shuffle Optical Processor,” Appl. Opt. 27, 202 (1988). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  16. R. Lippmann, “An Introduction to Computing with Neural Networks,” IEEE ASSP Magazine (1Apr.1987). [CrossRef]
  17. C. W. Stirk, R. A. Athale, C. B. Friedlander, “Optical Implementation of the Compare-and-Exchange Operation for Applications in Symbolic Computing,” Proc. Soc. Photo-Opt. Instrum. Eng. 754, 27 (1987).
  18. B. S. Wherrett, “All-Optical Computation: a Design for Tackling a Specific Physical Problem,” Appl. Opt. 24, 2876 (1985). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  19. A. C. Walker, “Application of Bistable Optical Logic Gate Arrays to All-Optical Digital Parallel Processing,” Appl. Opt. 25, 1578 (1986). [CrossRef] [PubMed]
  20. L. Zhang et al., “All-Optical Compare-and-Exchange Switches,” accepted by IEEE J. Selected Areas Commun., Special Issue on Photonic Switching.
  21. Y. H. Lee et al., “Speed and Effectiveness of Windowless GaAs Etalons as Optical Logic Gates,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 49, 486 (1986). [CrossRef]
  22. A. Migus, A. Antonetti, D. Hulin, A. Mysyrowicz, H. M. Gibbs, N. Peyghambarian, J. L. Jewell, “One-Picosecond Optical NOR Gate at Room Temperature with a GaAs-AlGaAs Multiple-Quantum-Well Nonlinear Fabry-Perot Etalon,” Appl. Phys. Lett. 46, 70 (1985). [CrossRef]
  23. A. L. Lentine, H. S. Hinton, D. A. B. Miller, J. E. Henry, J. E. Cunningham, L. M. F. Chirovsky, “The Symmetric Self-Electro-Optic Effect Device,” in Technical Digest, Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics (Optical Society of America, Washington, DC, 1987), postdeadline paper ThT12.
  24. D. A. B. Miller, D. S. Chemla, T. C. Damen, T. H. Wood, C. A. Burrus, A. C. Gossard, W. Wiegmann, “The Quantum Well Self-Electrooptic Effect Device: Optoelectronic Bistability and Oscillation, and Self-Linearized Modulation,” IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-21, 1462 (1985). [CrossRef]
  25. R. A. Athale, “Studies in Digital Optical Processing,” Ph.D. Thesis, U. California, San Diego (1980).
  26. S. H. Lee, S. C. Esener, M. A. Title, T. J. Drabik, “Two-Dimensional Si/PLZT Light Modulators: Design Considerations and Technology,” Opt. Eng. 25, 250 (1986). [CrossRef]
  27. P. Wheatley et al., “Novel Nonresonant Optoelectronic Device,” Electron. Lett. 23, 92 (1987). [CrossRef]

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited