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Proceedings Paper

Modulation-enabled tapered remote coupler: all-optical communication on and off chip
Author(s): Tian Gu; Rohit Nair; Michael W. Haney
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Paper Abstract

The "Modulation-Enabled Tapered Remote Coupler" (METRoC) is introduced targeting the integration of on-chip and off-chip optical interconnects. With Moore's law scaling of CMOS critical dimensions, the computing power of modern microprocessors has grown rapidly. Future multi-core chips will demand aggregate on- and off-chip bandwidths in the TBytes/sec regime. However, metal on-chip global interconnections and off-chip communications do not scale commensurately with the CMOS device sizes, resulting in challenges to meet the growing bandwidth requirements within acceptable power budgets. Optics is a potential solution to replace the fundamentally limited electrical interconnects. Recent advancements in optical and optoelectronic component fabrication and manufacturing processes may enable implementation of optical interconnects at the chip-scale. An optical solution that seamlessly integrates the two domains is highly desirable. The METRoC is proposed as a compact optical interconnect fabric that obviates the need for opto-electronic and electrooptic conversions when signals propagate between the on-chip and off-chip domains. Multiple quantum well (MQW) devices are chosen as the optical modulators and photodetectors. The key aspect of METRoC is the modulationenhanced prismatic structures embedded in waveguides, which enable the direct coupling from the integrated MQW devices to the intra-chip guided-wave fabrics. Additionally, tapered remote couplers can provide free-space interconnections between chips or remote regions on-chip. Both coupling structures have small footprint areas and hence are projected to provide high bandwidth densities. The fabrication process is compatible with silicon CMOS processes. The coupling fabric can also be used to optically interconnect two silicon die within a multichip module.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 February 2010
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 7607, Optoelectronic Interconnects and Component Integration IX, 76070H (23 February 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.845996
Show Author Affiliations
Tian Gu, Univ. of Delaware (United States)
Rohit Nair, Univ. of Delaware (United States)
Michael W. Haney, Univ. of Delaware (United States)
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (United States)

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

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