A four-stage unidirectional ring free-space optical interconnect system was designed, analyzed, implemented, and characterized. The optical system was used within a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor–self-electro-optic-effect-device-based optical backplane demonstrator that was designed to fit into a standard VME chassis. This optical interconnect was a hybrid microlens–macrolens system, in which the microlens relays were arranged in a maximum lens-to-waist configuration to route the optical beams from the optical power supply to the transceiver arrays, while the macrolens optical relays were arranged in a telecentric configuration to route optical signal beams from stage to stage. The following aspects of the optical system design are discussed: the optical parameters for the hybrid optical system, the image mapping of the two-dimensional array of optical beams from stage to stage, the alignment tolerance of the hybrid relay system, and the power budget of the overall optical interconnect. The implementation of the optical system, including the characterization of optical components, subsystem prealignment, and final system assembly, is presented. The two-dimensional array of beams for the stage-to-stage interconnect was adjusted with a rotational error of <0.05° and a lateral offset error of <3.5 μm. The measured throughput is in good agreement with the lower-bound predictions obtained in the theoretical results, with an optical power throughput of -20.2 dB from the fiber input of the optical power supply to the modulator array and -25.5 dB from the fiber input to the detector plane.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: August 26, 1997
Revised Manuscript: January 15, 1998
Published: May 10, 1998
Yongsheng Liu, Brian Robertson, Guillaume C. Boisset, Michael H. Ayliffe, Rajiv Iyer, and David V. Plant, "Design, implementation, and characterization of a hybrid optical interconnect for a four-stage free-space optical backplane demonstrator," Appl. Opt. 37, 2895-2914 (1998)