A Circuit-Based Scalable and Low-Complex Optical Datacenter Network

Tech ID: 28824 / UC Case 2017-247-0


The everincreasing bandwidth requirements of modern datacenters have led researchers to propose networks based upon optical circuit switches, but these proposals face significant deployment challenges. In particular, previous proposals dynamically configure circuit switches in response to changes in workload, requiring networkwide demand estimation, centralized circuit assignment, and tight time synchronization between various network elements— resulting in a complex and unwieldy control plane. Moreover, limitations in the technologies underlying the individual circuit switches restrict both the rate at which they can be reconfigured and the scale of the network that can be constructed; a new approach is necessary.

Technology Description

Researchers at UC San Diego have devised a new solution called RotorNet, a circuitbased network design to overcome the limitations listed above. While RotorNet dynamically reconfigures its constituent circuit switches, it decouples switch configuration from traffic patterns, obviating the need for demand collection and admitting a fully decentralized control plane. At the physical layer, RotorNet relaxes the requirements on the underlying circuit switches—in particular by not requiring individual switches to implement a full crossbar—enabling them to scale to 1000s of ports. RotorNet outperforms comparably priced Fat Tree topologies under a variety of workload conditions, including traces taken from two commercial datacenters. We’ve also demonstrated a smallscale RotorNet operating in practice on an eightnode testbed.


This novel invention is useful as an interface to any circuit switched network and does not currently exist commercially or in the literature.


  • Scalable to 1000s of ports
  • Decouples switch configuration from traffic patterns
  • Fully decentralized control panel

State Of Development

A working prototype of a smallscale RotorNet operating in practice on an eightnode testbed was constructed

Intellectual Property Info

A provisional patent has been submitted and the technology is available for licensing.

Related Materials

Patent Status

Country Type Number Dated Case
Patent Cooperation Treaty Published Application 2019014263 01/17/2019 2017-247

Additional Patent Pending


Learn About UC TechAlerts - Save Searches and receive new technology matches

Other Information


datacenter, optical, circuit-based network, RotorNet

Categorized As