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22 May 1998 Design and implementation of a four-stage clustered free-space optical interconnect
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Proceedings Volume 3490, Optics in Computing '98; (1998)
Event: Optics in Computing '98, 1998, Bruges, Belgium
Optical intercotmects have the potential to overcome the limitations encountered in present electronic backplane technology in providing the information throughput required in ever faster multi-processor computers and lelecommunication switching systems[lJ[2]. A major challenge in this area is the design of robust, misalignment tolerant and field-serviceable optomechanical hardware for optical and optoelectronic components. Components often need to be precisely positioned to tolerances in the micron range laterally and fractions of a degree angularly. Alignment must be maintained despite vibrations, temperature variations and the occasional breakdown and maintenance cycle inherent in an industrial environment. This paper describes the implementation of a novel four-stage clustered optical interconnect designed for use in optical backplane applications[l]. The system optical design is first reviewed (more details can be found in[3]) followed with calculated and measured optical power throughputs. A tolerancing analysis illustrates the benefits of partitioning the system in pre-aligned modular building blocks. This is shown to minimize the number of critical alignment steps and considerably simplifies system assembly. It is then shown how proper optomechanical design allows for the passive insertion of modules to complete system assembly.
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Frederic K. Lacroix, B. R. Robertson, Michael H. Ayliffe, Eric Bernier, Frank A. P. Tooley, Marc Chateauneuf, David V. Plant, and Andrew G. Kirk "Design and implementation of a four-stage clustered free-space optical interconnect", Proc. SPIE 3490, Optics in Computing '98, (22 May 1998);

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