Optoelectronics

Idea/Definition Information
Summary: 

Address performance limitations encountered in high-speed electrical backplanes (15-20+ Gbps) by use of optical signal transmission.  Demonstrate, by building a test vehicle design, that optical waveguides within a backplane can benefit the system’s interconnect topology by providing: Higher data rates, Additional I/O, and better interconnect architectures

If you are interested in this project and would like to subscribe to the project mailing list, please click here (members only) or email the project facilitator, Jack Fisher - fish5er@hdpug.org.
 

 
Background: 
    To meet the ever increasing bandwidth demands, we need higher data rate, higher channel density and longer interconnect link length in telecom and datacom systems, while at the same time, reducing the power/bit required to transmit and receive signals.  For conventional copper electronic interconnect, there are some fundamental obstacles (such as loss, crosstalk, reflection and parasitics) that prevent it from meeting the increasing bandwidth demands.
     In the near future, the cost of conventional copper electronic interconnect will exceed the cost of optical interconnect, and optical interconnect will be the preferred solution for short-range interconnect (rack-to-rack, backplane, inter-board, and even inter-chip).  Optical PCB technology has been researched for many years, and some groups have already built optical backplane prototypes. Optical backplanes will very likely be applied in high speed systems in the future 5~10 years.
 
 
Problem: 

Optical PCB technology has been researched for several years; however, significant issues remain before commercial implementation can be realized:

  • Waveguide fabrication at production scale
  • Optical PCB fabrication
  • Optical coupling (such as device-board and board-to-backplane)
  • Assembly
  • Optoelectronic devices in standard ”IC-like” packages used in optical PCB
  • Reliability (waveguide, connector, OE device, packaging materials, and system-level qualification)
  • Test vehicles…
  • Testing methods, equipments and applied standards
These obstacles need to be removed before optical PCB technology can be applied in industry.
 
 
Approach: 
  • Address performance limitations encountered in high-speed electrical backplanes (15-20+ Gbps) by use of optical signal transmission

  • Demonstrate that optical waveguides within a backplane can benefit the systems interconnect topology by providing:
    • Higher data rates
    • Additional I/O
    • Better interconnect architectures
  • Review available technologies and components for an optical backplane

  • Define an optical backplane prototype (“HDPUG Emulator”)

  • Compare selected technologies with experimental qualification or proof-of-concept demos

  • Assemble and test HDPUG optical backplane demonstrator

  • Realize hardware based on as many “off-the-shelf”components as possible

 

Optical Backplane Concept:

Optical Electrical hybrid backplane

  • Optical data buses for high speed data bus
  • Electrical data buses for slow speed signals and power
  • Optical paths based on fibers and/or waveguides
     
Definition Phase Project files for download:
May 19, 2010 Member Meeting Presentation (4 meg)

Project Proposal, Feb 2010

ReFlex AMAPS Presentation, June 2010 (2.5meg)

iNEMI Optical Interconnect Roadmap,(2009 version)