20 March 1996 Photonic backplane architecture for broadband switching
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The architecture of a terabit free-space photonic backplane for parallel computing and communications is described. The photonic backplane interconnects typically 32 printed circuit boards or multichip modules (PCBs or MCMs) and has a bisection bandwidth in the terabit/sec range, with each PCB/MCM receiving a fraction of the peak bandwidth. The backplane consists of a large number of parallel reconfigurable optical channels spaced a few hundred microns apart. The parallel channels can be organized as a multi-channel ring where the channel access protocols are implemented by smart pixel arrays. Smart pixel arrays are integrated opto-electronic devices with optical I/O and with electronic processing capabilities. A smart pixel array which supports multiple reconfigurable broadcast channels and which transports terabits of optical data per second (Tb/s) and filters and extracts hundreds of gigabits of electrical data per second (Gb/s) for each PCB or MCM is proposed. Projections for free-space optical backplane capacities over the next decade are outlined. Within a decade, free-space optical technologies have the potential to support aggregate capacities of the order of 10s of Tb/s. It is also shown that optical technologies have the potential to result in significant reductions in volume and increases in performance when compared to conventional electrical architectures.
© (1996) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Ted H. Szymanski, Ted H. Szymanski, } "Photonic backplane architecture for broadband switching", Proc. SPIE 2692, Optical Interconnects in Broadband Switching Architectures, (20 March 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.235862; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.235862

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