A multiplexer is an electronic device, which is capable of accepting more than one input signal simultaneously and chooses one (or more) of the input signals as an output signal in response to the state of one or more select input. Multiplexing enables a plurality of individual items of information to be transmitted along the same transmission channel. The distribution of these items of information is performed as a function of a parameter which may be time, the frequency of the items of information, or their phase. In high-speed electronics, the field to wich the invention particularly relates, the controlling parameter is time. In a multiplexer, one of two input signals is selected as an output signal based on the value of a control signal. In more complex multiplexers, a plurality of control signals turn transfer gates on and off in accordance with predetermined rules to enable various data signals to be generated as outputs. Multiplexers are used in circuits when the aim is to concentrate a plurality of channels onto one common channel. Optical multiplexing and demultiplexing, that is, combination and separation of individual optical channels of various wavelengths into and from a single (multiplexed) signal comprising those channels, is an important function in optical communications systems. Multiplexing and demultiplexing are typically performed within optical communications systems by array waveguide gratings (AWGs). Generally, the same devices can be used for both multiplexing and demultiplexing operations. Multiplexers route signals of different wavelengths traveling in multiple optical pathways into a single pathway. Demultiplexers route different wavelength signals from a single pathway into respective multiple pathways. In recent years, an optical multiplexer and an optical demultiplexer have been more and more important in the fields of optical communication, photonic switching, and optical computing and notably in the field of wavelength multiplexing optical communication in which optical signals of different wavelengths are multiplexed for communication Wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) is a valuable technique for increasing the information carrying capacity of optical transmissions for voice communications as well as high density transmission of data.
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