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Optoelectronic interconnects in VLSI: the reality of digital optical computing?

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2 Author(s)
Midwinter, John E. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Univ. Coll. London, UK ; Taylor, M.G.

The relative strengths of optical and electronic technology are discussed with a view to identifying the optimum mix applicable at the discrete logic gate or chip level. It is proposed that an optimum high-speed processor should be partitioned into synchronous electronic islands, interconnected by optics. The use of free-space optical wiring and its limitations are discussed. The characteristics required of optoelectronic interfaces are delineated. A self-routing switching matrix is considered as a test case for the hybrid optoelectronic approach. By partitioning the complex self-routing circuit in the manner described, all the electrical pathways are very nearly equalized, favoring very-high-bit-rate operation. Information flow is also very streamlined.<>

Published in:

LCS, IEEE  (Volume:1 ,  Issue: 2 )