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This letter presents a new optical interconnect system for intrachip communications based on free-space optics. It provides all-to-all direct communications using dedicated lasers and photodetectors, hence avoiding packet switching while offering ultra-low latency and scalable bandwidth. A technology demonstration prototype is built on a circuit board using fabricated germanium photodetectors, micro-lenses, commercial vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, and micro-mirrors. Transmission loss in an optical link of 10-mm distance and crosstalk between two adjacent links are measured as 5 and -26 dB, respectively. The measured small-signal bandwidth of the link is 10 GHz.
Date of Publication: Feb.1, 2011