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Proceedings Paper

A scaleable optical interconnect for low-latency cell switching in high-performance computing systems
Author(s): Michael Sauer; Roe Hemenway; Richard Grzybowski; David Peters; Jason Dickens; Ron Karfelt
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Paper Abstract

An optical cell switch for interconnecting massively parallel nodes offers the potential for reduction in size, power consumption, and cost of high-performance computing (HPC) interconnects. We designed an architecture based on a broadcast and select approach that is highly flexible in terms of supported ports and can easily scale from a 16x16 to a 2048x2048 port switch by exploiting both wavelength multiplexing and fiber multiplexing. The optical system is designed for 40 Gb/s operation, but the full 160 Gb/s switching likely required of a commercial system can be supported by this architecture. At the core of the switch is an array of semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs), which provide fast switching (~1 ns), high extinction ratio (>40 dB) for cross-talk reduction, and optical gain (15 dB typical). The full optical switch consists of a 2-stage broadcast and select design for fiber select and color select, leading to a bufferless low-latency crossbar cell switch. A switch system demonstrator with 8 full optical paths has been implemented and used for performance characterization. A fast 40 Gb/s cell receiver was developed and proven to support up to 9 dB dynamic range. System demonstration measurements have shown that a raw BER of 10-15 is achievable. Optical cross-talk is negligible and does not degrade the system performance. The system design and verification experiments demonstrate that a scaleable 40 Gb/s switch for massively parallel systems is feasible and offers the potential for significant size, power consumption, and cost reduction by applying the scalability of an optical solution to a HPC system.

Paper Details

Date Published: 3 March 2006
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 6124, Optoelectronic Integrated Circuits VIII, 61240N (3 March 2006); doi: 10.1117/12.659731
Show Author Affiliations
Michael Sauer, Corning Inc. (United States)
Roe Hemenway, Corning Inc. (United States)
Richard Grzybowski, Corning Inc. (United States)
David Peters, Photonic Controls, LLC (United States)
Jason Dickens, Photonic Controls, LLC (United States)
Ron Karfelt, Photonic Controls, LLC (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 6124:
Optoelectronic Integrated Circuits VIII
Louay A. Eldada; El-Hang Lee, Editor(s)

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