Optics Express

Polymer waveguides for electro-optical integration in data centers and high-performance computers

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To satisfy the intra- and inter-system bandwidth requirements of future data centers and high-performance computers, low-cost low-power high-throughput optical interconnects will become a key enabling technology. To tightly integrate optics with the computing hardware, particularly in the context of CMOS-compatible silicon photonics, optical printed circuit boards using polymer waveguides are considered as a formidable platform. IBM Research has already demonstrated the essential silicon photonics and interconnection building blocks. A remaining challenge is electro-optical packaging, i.e., the connection of the silicon photonics chips with the system. In this paper, we present a new single-mode polymer waveguide technology and a scalable method for building the optical interface between silicon photonics chips and single-mode polymer waveguides.