We propose and demonstrate a most important all-optical address recognition scheme for the optical asynchronous transfer mode (OATM). The control signal appears in an assigned time slot corresponding to the address information. Compared with conventional schemes, the proposed circuit consists of a simple structure. The proposed recognition circuit enables fast all-optical self-routing and contributes to a reduction of buffer size for temporary data storage in input ports. © 1999 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers.