Optical interconnects have attracted considerable attention for use in short-reach communication links within high-performance electronic systems, such as data centers, supercomputers, and data storage systems. Multimode polymer waveguides, in particular, constitute an attractive technology for use in board-level interconnects as they can be cost-effectively integrated onto standard PCBs and allow system assembly with relaxed alignment tolerances. However, their highly multimoded nature raises important concerns about their bandwidth limitations and their potential to support very high on-board data rates. In this paper, we report record error-free (BER < 10-12) 40 Gb/s data transmission over a 1-m-long multimode polymer spiral waveguide and present thorough studies on the waveguide bandwidth performance. The frequency response of the waveguide is investigated under a wide range of launch conditions and in the presence of input spatial offsets, which are expected to be highly-likely in real-world systems. A robust bandwidth performance is observed with a bandwidth-length product of at least 35 GHz × m for all launch conditions studied. The reported results clearly demonstrate the potential of this technology for use in board-level interconnects, and indicate that data rates of at least 40 Gb/s are feasible over waveguide lengths of 1 m.
- Board-level optical interconnects
- multimode waveguides
- polymer waveguides
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics