Clos network

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In the field of telecommunications, a Clos network is a kind of multistage circuit switching network, first formalized by Charles Clos in 1953 , which represents a theoretical idealization of practical multi-stage telephone switching systems. Clos networks are required when the physical circuit switching needs exceed the capacity of the largest feasible single crossbar switch. The key advantage of Clos networks is that the number of crosspoints (which make up each crossbar switch) required can be much fewer than were the entire switching system implemented with one large crossbar switch. When the Clos network was first devised, the number of crosspoints was a reasonable approximate indication of the total cost of the switching system. While this was acceptable for electromechanical crossbars, it has become less relevant with the advent of VLSI.

Clos networks have three stages: the ingress stage, middle stage, and the egress stage. Each stage is made up of a number of crossbar switches (see diagram below), often just called crossbars. Each call entering an ingress crossbar switch can be routed through any of the available middle stage crossbar switches, to the relevant egress crossbar switch. A middle stage crossbar is available for a particular new call if both the link connecting the ingress switch to the middle stage switch, and the link connecting the middle stage switch to the egress switch, are free.

Clos networks are defined by three...
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