A data bus is described that allows simultaneous transfers of multiple bit words among various components within a computer, thereby permitting many parallel operations. The bus is composed of sparsely filled arrays of light emitters that are imaged onto similar arrays of detectors. Direct connections between the units in the computer are made via the light paths through the imaging system. A 2-D addressing scheme on the array reduces the number of electrical connections between the arrays of the data bus and the computer components to which they are connected. The result is a data bus with dedicated optical paths to all units in the computer but without the need for a large number of electrical connections. The operation of the bus and the addressing and driving methods are described, and results of preliminary experiments are given.
© 1979 Optical Society of America
W. Thomas Cathey and Burton J. Smith, "High concurrency data bus using arrays of optical emitters and detectors," Appl. Opt. 18, 1687-1691 (1979)