Due to claims of enhanced spectral efficiency and the ability to accommodate future modulation formats, flexible-grid networks in which the center wavelength and passband width of the optical channels can be set on the fly have attracted wide attention. A flexible-grid reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexer (ROADM) requires more than a flexible-grid wavelength-selective switch, and a flexible-grid network requires far more than flexible-grid ROADMs. We discuss the technologies required to enable flexible-grid networks. We examine the potential benefits of using flexible-grid ROADMs and compare this approach with alternative strategies.
© 2013 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: May 6, 2013
Revised Manuscript: June 12, 2013
Manuscript Accepted: June 15, 2013
Published: July 24, 2013
Sheryl L. Woodward and Mark D. Feuer, "Benefits and Requirements of Flexible-Grid ROADMs and Networks [Invited]," J. Opt. Commun. Netw. 5, A19-A27 (2013)