Advancing Manufacturing Technology

iNEMI-IPSR Board-Level Optical Interconnect Project

Tom Marrapode, Molex, Project Chair


Purpose of Project

Alignment with Roadmap.  This project is well aligned with AIM, iNEMI, MIT MicroPhotonics Consortium, and industrial roadmaps. These roadmaps predict that silicon-photonics-based transceiver modules will provide the most cost-effective solutions for on-board interconnections in the future.  This is based on the expected reduction of optoelectronic chip cost to be achieved via leveraging of the CMOS silicon foundry infrastructure.

Statement of Work

Scope of Work

Description of Work.  The proposed work will consist of designing, assembling and testing a prototype on-board fiber optic interconnection system based on silicon photonic transceiver modules, single-mode fiber cables, and expanded-beam optical connectors for the package, backplane, and front-plane interfaces.  The prototype will be based on 12-fiber ribbon fiber cables and 12-channel optical connectors, and will operate at 25 Gbps channel rate.  Existing technologies will be leveraged wherever possible to allow a system demonstration to be performed in the shortest possible timeframe.

The work proposed here will comprise the First Phase of the On-Board Optical Interconnect Project.  The Second Phase, to be undertaken after completion of the First Phase, will investigate the use of PCB-embedded waveguides to replace fly-over fiber cables.

Major Goals.  Major goals of the project include:
  • Demonstration of a connectorized silicon photonics transceiver package with an expanded-beam interface.
  • Demonstration of expanded beam connectors for mating ribbon cables to the transceiver module, and for backplane and front-plane connections.
  • Integrating the system components into a demonstration system transmitting data at 25 Gbps per channel between two blades mounted on a backplane.
  • Characterization of the performance of the prototype system, including assessments of signal integrity, loss budget, connector loss, connector mating force, etc.
  • Characterization of environmental degradation effects on the system performance, including temperature, humidity, and dust testing.
  • Identification and documentation of key challenges in performance, manufacturing and cost of product systems based on the technology, as revealed via the prototype.

For Additional Information

David Godlewski
+1 717-651-0522