FOC switches or optical switches are used, for example, for redundant FOC links to which switching is made as required, or for switching to measuring equipment.
Fiber optic switches are purely mechanical, in which the optical fibers are adjusted from one to a second optical fiber via optical components such as microlenses and prisms. In these switches, the precision of fiber alignment plays the key role, and it is very difficult to position a fiber with high precision, just a few micrometers.
Other mechanical methods work with microscopic mirrors, the Micro Electromechanical Mirrors ( MEM). In this process, the micromirrors are tilted in their axes. or with transmissive mirrors. In this process, the mirrors can be reflective or, as a non-reflective disk, they can transmit the light signals. In addition to the mechanically operating FOC switches, there are also the electromechanical and piezoelectric switches. Purely electronically operating switches work with liquid crystals or according to a process in which the light is switched via a bubble technique. The light switches achieve switching speeds of 40 Gbit/s and above.