Eytan Modiano, et al., "ANovel MediumAccess Control Protocol for WDM-Based LAN's and Access Networks Using a Master/Slave Scheduler", Journal of Lightwave Technology, vol. 18, No. 4, Apr. 2000, pp. 461-468.
Primary Examiner—Frank Duong
(74) Attorney, Agent, or Firm—Perkins Coie LLP
A method and apparatus for a communications network that executes a medium access control (MAC) protocol that permits multiple access to a shared medium or shared switching fabric. The MAC protocol uses a BANDWIDTH_ALLOCATOR to regulate access to the network by sending a permission message to a NODE, allowing it to transmit to a specific set of NODEs for a specific length of time. The medium and switching fabric can carry one or more protocols, each of varying framing format and native bitrate. The switching fabric provides a connection-oriented bufferless data transport service that preserves frame ordering. An illustrative embodiment uses a slotted master/slave time-division multiplexed access (TDMA) scheme to allow flexible provisioning of network bandwidth.
17 Claims, 3 Drawing Sheets