SPIE Photonics Europe 2004
Conference paper

Characterization of parallel optical-interconnect waveguides integrated on a printed circuit board

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The development of optical interconnects in printed circuit boards (PCBs) is driven by the increasing bandwidth requirements in servers, supercomputers and switch routers. At higher data rates, electrical connections exhibit an increase in crosstalk and attenuation; which limits channel density and leads to high power dissipation. Optical interconnects may overcome these drawbacks, although open questions still need to be resolved. We have realized multimode acrylate-polymer-based waveguides on PCBs that have propagation losses below 0.04 dB/cm at a wavelength of 850 nm and 0.12 dB/cm at 980 nm. Transmission measurements at a data rate of 12.5 Gb/s over a 1-m-long waveguide show good eye openings, independent of the incoupling conditions. In the interconnect system, the transmitter and receiver arrays are flip-chip-positioned on the top of the board with turning mirrors to redirect the light. The coupling concept is based on the collimated-beam approach with microlenses in front of the waveguides and the optoelectronic components. As we aim for large two-dimensional waveguide arrays, optical crosstalk is an important parameter to be understood. Accordingly, we have measured optical crosstalk for a linear array of 12 optical channels at a pitch of 250 μm. The influence of misalignment at the transmitter and the receiver side on optical crosstalk will be presented as a function of the distance between waveguide and transmitter/receiver.