FirstLight: Pluggable Optical Interconnect Technologies for Polymeric Electro-Optical Printed Circuit Boards in Data Centers
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The protocol data rate governing data storage devices will increase to over 12 Gb/s by 2013 thereby imposing unmanageable cost and performance burdens on future digital data storage systems. The resulting performance bottleneck can be substantially reduced by conveying high-speed data optically instead of electronically. A novel active pluggable 82.5 Gb/s aggregate bit rate optical connector technology, the design and fabrication of a compact electro-optical printed circuit board to meet exacting specifications, and a method for low cost, high precision, passive optical assembly are presented. A demonstration platform was constructed to assess the viability of embedded electro-optical midplane technology in such systems including the first ever demonstration of a pluggable active optical waveguide printed circuit board connector. High-speed optical data transfer at 10.3125 Gb/s was demonstrated through a complex polymer waveguide interconnect layer embedded into a 262 mm × 240 mm × 4.3 mm electro-optical midplane. Bit error rates of less than 10-12 and optical losses as low as 6 dB were demonstrated through nine multimode polymer wave guides with an aggregate data bandwidth of 92.8125 Gb/s.
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