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Many properties of an optically interconnected system can be improved through the use of a modelocked laser. The short pulse duration, high peak power, wide spectral bandwidth, and low timing jitter of such a laser lead to these benefits. Timing advantages include simplified synchronization across large chip areas, receiver latency reduction, and data resynchronization. Lower power dissipation may be achieved through improved receiver sensitivity. Additional applications of short optical pulses include time-division multiplexing, single-source wavelength-division multiplexing, and precise time-domain testing of circuits. Several of these concepts were investigated using a high-speed chip-to-chip optical interconnect demonstration link. The link employs a modelocked laser and surface-normal optoelectronic modulators that were flip-chip bonded to silicon CMOS circuits. This paper outlines experiments that were performed on or simulated for the link, and discusses the important benefits of ultrashort optical pulses for optical interconnection.
Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of (Volume:9 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: March-April 2003