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Proceedings Paper

Design and implementation of an electro-optical backplane with pluggable in-plane connectors
Author(s): Richard C. A. Pitwon; Ken Hopkins; Kai Wang; David R. Selviah; Hadi Baghsiahi; Bert J. Offrein; Roger Dangel; Folkert Horst; Markus Halter; Max Gmür
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Paper Abstract

The design, implementation and characterisation of an electro-optical backplane and an active pluggable optical connector technology are presented. The connection architecture adopted allows line cards to mate and unmate from a passive electro-optical backplane with embedded polymeric waveguides. The active connectors incorporate photonics interfaces operating at 850 nm and a mechanism to passively align the interface to the embedded optical waveguides. A demonstration platform has been constructed to assess the viability of embedded electro-optical backplane technology in dense data storage systems. The electro-optical backplane is comprised of both copper layers and one polymeric optical layer, whereon waveguides have been patterned by a direct laser writing scheme. The optical waveguide design includes arrayed multimode waveguides with a pitch of 250 μm, multiple cascaded waveguide bends, non-orthogonal crossovers and in-plane connector interfaces. In addition, a novel passive alignment method has been employed to simplify high precision assembly of the optical receptacles on the backplane. The in-plane connector interface is based on a two lens free space coupling solution, which reduces susceptibility to contamination. The loss profiles of the complex optical waveguide layout has been characterised and successful transfer of 10.3 Gb/s data along multiple waveguides in the electro-optical backplane demonstrated.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 February 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7607, Optoelectronic Interconnects and Component Integration IX, 76070J (23 February 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.841985
Show Author Affiliations
Richard C. A. Pitwon, Xyratex Technology Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Ken Hopkins, Xyratex Technology Ltd. (United Kingdom)
Kai Wang, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
David R. Selviah, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
Hadi Baghsiahi, Univ. College London (United Kingdom)
Bert J. Offrein, IBM Zürich Research Lab. (Switzerland)
Roger Dangel, IBM Zürich Research Lab. (Switzerland)
Folkert Horst, IBM Zürich Research Lab. (Switzerland)
Markus Halter, Varioprint AG (Switzerland)
Max Gmür, Varioprint AG (Switzerland)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7607:
Optoelectronic Interconnects and Component Integration IX
Alexei L. Glebov; Ray T. Chen, Editor(s)

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