A terabit capacity passive polymer optical backplane based on a novel meshed waveguide architecture

Iv Beals, N. Bamiedakis, A. Wonfor, R. V. Penty, I. H. White, J. V. Degroot, K. Hueston, T. V. Clapp, M. Glick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Citations (SciVal)


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)983-988
Number of pages6
JournalApplied Physics A: Materials Science and Processing
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)


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