IEEE Transactions on Advanced Packaging

Polymer-waveguide-based board-level optical interconnect technology for datacom applications

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On the basis of a realized 12 × 10 Gb/s card-to-card optical link demonstrator, the capabilities of a polymer-waveguide-based board-level optical interconnect technology are presented. The conception and realization of the modular building blocks required for this board-level optical interconnect technology are described in detail. In particular, we report on the fabrication and characterization of board-integrated optical low-loss polymer waveguides that are compatible with printed circuit board (PCB) manufacturing processes. We also explain our fully passive alignment technique, superseding time-consuming active positioning of components and connectors. To realize optical transceiver modules comprising vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) arrays with laser drivers and photodetector arrays with transimpedance amplifiers (TIAs), a mass-production concept based on wafer-level processing has been elaborated and successfully implemented. © 2008 IEEE.