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Based on a variety of optimization criteria, recent research has suggested that optical interconnects are a viable alternative to electrical interconnects for board-to-board, chip-to-chip, and on-chip applications. However, the design of modern high-performance computing systems must account for a variety of performance scaling factors that are not included in these analyses. We will give an overview of the performance scaling that has driven current computer design, with a focus on architectural design and the effects of these designs on interconnect implementation. We then discuss the potential of optics at each of these interconnect levels, in the context of extant electrical technology.
Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of (Volume:9 , Issue: 2 )
Date of Publication: March-April 2003