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Proceedings Paper

Photonics in digital computing: paradigms and proof-of-principle demonstrators
Author(s): Hugo Thienpont
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Paper Abstract

It is generally recognized by the optics in computing community that photonic technologies can help to alleviate the data communication bottlenecks of future digital processing systems in two ways. In a first approach optics could be used as a wirereplacing technology at the different interconnect levels in computers such as the back-plane, the board-to-board, the multi-chip to multi-chip (MCM) and even the intra-MCM interconnect level. In a second approach 2D-arrays of smart pixels, which are integrated VLSI-photonic components that combine the electronic processing power of Si-CMOS with the high interconnect density of GaAs-based parallel opto-electronic I/O planes, could play a major role in dedicated processing systems such as smart focal-plane arrays, artificial retina and early-vision processors and outperform their dedicated all-electronic counterparts. In this paper we bring forward some of the multifarious ways to put micro-optical components to work in digital optical information processing systems by reviewing two of our most recent proof-of-principle demonstrators. First we will illustrate the "microoptics as a wire-replacing technology" paradigm by presenting a micro-optical module for multi-channel free-space intra-MCM interconnects. Secondly, as an example of the so-called "smart pixel" paradigm, we demonstrate how we have constructed a prototype morphological image processor based on 8x8 arrays of opto-electronic transceiver arrays

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 July 1999
PDF: 2 pages
Proc. SPIE 3749, 18th Congress of the International Commission for Optics, (19 July 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.354744
Show Author Affiliations
Hugo Thienpont, Vrije Univ. Brussel (Belgium)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3749:
18th Congress of the International Commission for Optics

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