Riester, Markus; Houbertz, Ruth (Multiphoton Optics GmbH, Niedernberg, Germany)
Super computing is reaching out to ExaFLOP processing speeds, creating fundamental challenges for the way that computing systems are designed and built. The governing topic is the reduction of power used for operating the computer system, and eliminating the excess heat generated from the system. Current thinking sees optical interconnects on most interconnect levels to be a feasible solution to many of the challenges, although there are still limitations to the technical solutions, in particular with regard to manufacturability in high volume. An optical interconnect solution is proposed that allows the creation of optical components on module level, integrating optical chips, laser or PIN diodes as components much like the well-known Surface mount devices and components used for electrical assemblies. The paper shows the main challenges and its potential solutions, and it proposes a fundamental paradigm shift in manufacturing by using 3-dimensional optical links for the level 1 interconnect enabling high-volume manufacturing of optical packages for datacom applications.