Polymer waveguide-based backplanes for board-level optical interconnects

Nikos Bamiedakis, Aeffendi Hashim, Richard V. Penty, Ian H. White

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding

7 Citations (SciVal)


Optical interconnects are increasingly considered for use in high-performance electronic systems. Multimode polymer waveguides are a promising technology for the formation of optical backplane as they enable cost-effective integration of optical links onto standard printed circuit boards. In this paper, two different types of polymer waveguide-based optical backplanes are presented. The first one implements a passive shuffle architecture enabling non-blocking on-board optical interconnection between different cards/modules, while the second one deploys a regenerative bus architecture allowing the interconnection of an arbitrary number of electrical cards over a common optical bus. The polymer materials and the multimode waveguide components used to form the optical backplanes are presented, while details of the interconnection architectures and design of the backplanes are described. Proof-of-principle demonstrators fabricated onto low-cost FR4 substrates, including a 10-card 1 Tb/s-capacity passive shuffle router and 4-channel 3-card polymeric bus modules, are reported and their optical performance characteristics are presented. Low-loss, low-crosstalk on-board interconnection is achieved and error-free (BER10 12) 10 Gb/s communication between different card/module interfaces is demonstrated in both polymeric backplane systems.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICTON 2012 - 14th International Conference on Transparent Optical Networks
Publication statusPublished - 8 Oct 2012
Event14th International Conference on Transparent Optical Networks, ICTON 2012 - Coventry, UK United Kingdom
Duration: 2 Jul 20125 Jul 2012


Conference14th International Conference on Transparent Optical Networks, ICTON 2012
Country/TerritoryUK United Kingdom


  • interconnection architectures
  • optical backplanes
  • optical interconnects
  • polymer waveguides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials


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