The steadily increasing number of microprocessor controlled devices such as intelligent terminals, numerically controlled machines, etc. created the need for new approaches to the problems associated with distributing processing functions. Optical communication devices could be used in order to develop new methods to facilitate the distribution of tasks and programs among a large number of small and relatively slow machines. The essence of the approach should be to find means "to pay with bandwidth and low self induced noise" for simpler and more flexible implementation of task and program distribution. An analysis has been conducted leading to the formulation of the relationship between bandwidth, protocols, and topologies. It appears that ring and common bus topologies are the most suitable for implementation utilizing optical communication channels. An experimental fiber optic based loop system has been designed and constructed. The current realization operates at 20 Mb/sec and affords a 255 unit addressing space. The addressing space can be arbitrarily divided into physical and functional addresses. Mechanism for controllerless operation has been developed and tested. The current data rate can be increased to about 200 Mb/sec without major design changes. Measurement, simulation and analytical results are reported.
"Optical Channels In Distributed Processing", Proc. SPIE 0224, Fiber Optics for Communications and Control, (19 September 1980); doi: 10.1117/12.958682; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.958682