Conference paper

Compact electro-optical module with polymer waveguides on a flexible substrate for high-density board-level communication

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We report on the co-packaging of electrical CMOS transceiver and VCSEL chip arrays on a flexible electrical substrate with optical polymer waveguides. The electro-optical components are attached to the substrate edge and butt-coupled to the waveguides. Electrically conductive silver-ink connects them to the substrate at an angle of 90°. The final assembly contacts the surface of a package laminate with an integrated compressible connector. The module can be folded to save space, requires only a small footprint on the package laminate and provides short electrical high-speed signal paths. With our approach, the electro-optical package becomes a compact electro-optical module with integrated polymer waveguides terminated with either optical connectors (e.g., at the card edge) or with an identical assembly for a second processor on the board. Consequently, no costly subassemblies and connectors are needed, and a very high integration density and scalability to virtually arbitrary channel counts and towards very high data rates (20+ Gbps) become possible. Future cost targets of much less than US$1 per Gbps will be reached by employing standard PCB materials and technologies that are well established in the industry. Moreover, our technology platform has both electrical and optical connectivity and functionality. © 2010 Copyright SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering.