An optical backplane based on a meshed polymer waveguide architecture enabling high-speed board-to-board optical interconnection is presented. This planar array of multimode polymer waveguides can provide passive strictly non-blocking links between server line cards fitted with optical transmitter and receiver arrays. This architecture offers a scalable and low-cost solution to the bandwidth limitations faced by electrical backplanes and is suitable for PCB integration. The reported backplane demonstrator uses a matrix of 100 waveguides each capable of 10 Gb/s operation to interconnect 10 cards for a total capacity of a terabit per second aggregate data rate in multicast mode. Characterisation of the backplane demonstrator reveals low link losses of 2 to 8 dB for a multimode fibre input and crosstalk values below -35 dB. Error free data transmission at 10 Gb/s is achieved with a power penalty of only 0.2 dB at a bit-error-rate of 10-9. Additionally, lossless operation of a Gigabit Ethernet link over the backplane is achieved even when using the worst-case highest loss links.
|Number of pages||6|
|Journal||Applied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jun 2009|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Materials Science(all)