We introduce a universal test and measurement system allowing comparative characterisation of optical transceivers, board-to-board optical connectors and both embedded and passive optical circuit boards. The system comprises a test enclosure with interlocking and interchangeable test cards, allowing different technologies spanning different Technology Readiness Levels to be both characterised alone and in combination with other technologies. They form part of the open test design standards portfolio developed on the FP7 PhoxTroT and H2020 COSMICC projects and allow testing on a common test platform.
We report on a converged optically enabled Ethernet storage, switch and compute platform, which could support future disaggregated data center architectures. The platform includes optically enabled Ethernet switch controllers, an advanced electro-optical midplane and optically interchangeable generic end node devices. We demonstrate system level performance using optically enabled Ethernet disk drives and micro-servers across optical links of varied lengths.
Embedded optical waveguide technology for optical printed circuit boards (OPCBs) has advanced considerably over the past decade both in terms of materials and achievable waveguide structures. Two distinct classes of planar graded index multimode waveguide have recently emerged based on polymer and glass materials. We report on the suitability of graded index polymer waveguides, fabricated using the Mosquito method, and graded index glass waveguides, fabricated using ion diffusion on thin glass foils, for deployment within future data center environments as part of an optically disaggregated architecture. To this end, we first characterize the wavelength dependent performance of different waveguide types to assess their suitability with respect to two dominant emerging multimode transceiver classes based on directly modulated 850 nm VCSELs and 1310 silicon photonics devices. Furthermore we connect the different waveguide types into an optically disaggregated data storage system and characterize their performance with respect to different common high speed data protocols used at the intra and inter rack level including 10 Gb Ethernet and Serial Attached SCSI.