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30 September 2005 Polymer optical waveguide-based computer backplanes and interconnect
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In recent years, there has been an increasing interest in the design and development of optical waveguides for computer backplanes and intra-card communications. The transition from high speed copper interconnects to optical links is driven by those applications which can most benefit from a greatly increased bandwidth-distance product; this includes rack mounted blade servers, data communication switches and routers, high end enterprise servers, and supercomputers. Typically the candidate applications require hundreds of optical links, each operating at 10 Gigabit per second or higher, for aggregate bandwidths on the order of multi-terabits per second across distances of one to ten meters across a backplane. In this paper, we review some recent developments in polymer-based optical interconnect for these applications. In particular, we report experimental results for arrays of multi-mode acrylate polymer waveguides, fabricated either on the surface of a printed circuit board or embedded within a multi-layer board. Transmission speeds up to 12.5 Gigabit per second have been demonstrated on a single link, with optical attenuation as low as 0.04 dB/cm. Packaging considerations for vertical cavity laser and photodiode arrays will be discussed, including tolerances for passive alignment between waveguides and active components. Finally, we review several recently issued patents for optical backplane connector concepts and their potential applications within the next 3 years.
© (2005) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
C. DeCusatis, D. M. Litynski, V. Lund, and P. Das "Polymer optical waveguide-based computer backplanes and interconnect", Proc. SPIE 5956, Integrated Optics: Theory and Applications, 59561P (30 September 2005);

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