The drastically reduced costs and improved performance of fiber optic components in recent years offers an opportunity to economically incorporate high-bandwidth optical communication links within a large-scale multiprocessor system. In this paper, the design, implementation, and initial performance of a fiber optic bus for a tightly coupled multiprocessor system are discussed. This optical bus ulitizes a multiple fiber-multiple star configuration with data rates of up to 80 MHz. It transmits bus control line information by repetitively scanning the control lines and transmitting their states as a packet of bits. It is currently being used for a 30-processor system called the Heidelberg Polyp, which has a custom bus design. However, the design approach is a general one that could easily be adapted to other buses, especially asynchronous buses such as the VME bus.
R. L Shoemaker,
P. H. Bartels,
"Optical Interconnection For Multiprocessor Computer Bus Systems," Optical Engineering 28(11), 281185 (1 November 1989). http://dx.doi.org/10.1117/12.7977118