"Crossbars are also limited by crosstalk. As the number of crossbar switches increases, the unwanted coupling from individual switches in the off state increases. Crosstalk limits the maximum size of a crossbar switch, since the increased crosstalk noise reduces the signal-to-noise ratio of the desired signal.
"The Batcher Banyan tree architecture is an interconnection topology that allows smaller crossbars to be combined hierarchically to form a larger, higher port count switch. The Batcher Banyan tree architecture reduces the number of switching elements relative to a flat hierarchy, but increases the number of stages in the hierarchy and thereby increases the latency compared to a flat hierarchy.
"As described above, these and other various prior art switching techniques have a variety of disadvantages. What is needed, therefore, are improved switching techniques which overcome the disadvantages of the prior art."
In addition to the background information obtained for this patent, VerticalNews journalists also obtained the inventor's summary information for this patent: "The present invention is directed to an electron beam crossbar switch for interconnection between communication units. The crossbar switch includes an array of electrically charged particle emitter source devices with an input connected to a slow wave structure coupled to the emitter source. An array of detectors is positioned relative to the array of emitter devices for receiving charged particles from various of the emitter devices. X and y deflection means are positioned adjacent to each of the emitters for directing the charged particles from each of the emitters to at least one of the detectors.
"Certain embodiments of the present invention include a shadow mask, positioned adjacent the front of the array of detectors, for capturing stray particles and reducing background noise. The shadow mask may also provide a location to project the electron beam not associated with any detector so that the beam does not need to be turned off when the particular input port is idle or in the process of selecting a different detector.
"Embodiments of the present invention also include an electron beam crossbar switch for interconnection between processors, memory units or communications nodes; an array of electron emitter source devices, each source device projecting an electron beam through a slow wave structure constructed by a conductive helix having a data input connected to each of the helices; and an array of detectors positioned relative to the array of electron emitter devices with coupled slow wave structures for receiving electrons from various of the emitter devices with slow wave structures, each of the detectors having its own slow wave structure through which the electron beam is projected and which function to extract the data from the electron beam. X and y electrostatic deflection plates are positioned adjacent to each of the electron emitters with adjacent slow wave structures for directing the electrons from each of the emitters with adjacent slow wave structure to a selected one or more of the detectors with adjacent slow wave structure.
"For example, one embodiment of the present invention is directed to an electron beam crossbar switch for interconnection between communication units. The crossbar switch comprises: an array of electron emitters associated with a first plurality of slow wave structures; a plurality of data inputs connected to the first plurality of slow wave structures, wherein each of the data inputs is connected to a corresponding one of the first plurality of slow wave structures; an array of data output detectors positioned relative to the array of electron emitter slow wave devices for receiving electrons from any of the first plurality of slow wave structures; first deflection means positioned between one of the first plurality of slow wave structures and the detectors for directing the electrons from one of the emitters to a selected one of any of the data output detectors; and a plurality of data outputs connected to the array of data output detectors, wherein each of the data outputs is connected to a corresponding one of the array of data output detectors.
"Another embodiment of the present invention is directed to a method for interconnecting communication units comprising: (A) emitting electrons from an array of electron emitters; (B) reducing the forward propagation of an electromagnetic wave associated with the electrons; and (C) directing the electrons from one of the emitters to a selected one of any of an array of data output detectors.
"Advantages of the present invention ensue from its implementation of a high bandwidth crossbar switch that consumes less power and provides higher communication capacity than previous implementations. In particular, by employing a slow wave structure to modulate the electron beam, bandwidths on the order of 10-100 times greater than those achieved with simple control grid modulation are possible. And, by employing low voltage electron collectors rather than returning the electrons to the high voltage accelerating electrode, power reductions on the order of a factor of 10 are possible.
"Other features and advantages of various aspects and embodiments of the present invention will become apparent from the following description and from the claims."
URL and more information on this patent, see: Hogan,
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