We propose free-space optical interconnections for a bookshelf-assembled terabit-per-second-class ATM switch. Thousands of arrayed optical beams, each having a rate of a few gigabits per second, propagate vertically to printed circuit boards, passing through some boards, and are connected to arbitrary transmitters and receivers on boards by polarization controllers and prism arrays. We describe a preliminary experiment using a 1-mm-pitch 2 × 2 beam-collimator array that uses vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser diodes. These optical interconnections can be made quite stable in terms of mechanical shock and temperature fluctuation by the attachment of reinforcing frames to the boards and use of an autoalignment system.
© 1998 Optical Society of America
(140.2020) Lasers and laser optics : Diode lasers
(160.3710) Materials : Liquid crystals
(200.0200) Optics in computing : Optics in computing
(200.4650) Optics in computing : Optical interconnects
Katsuhiko Hirabayashi, Tsuyoshi Yamamoto, Shinji Matsuo, and Shigeki Hino, "Board-to-Board Free-Space Optical Interconnections Passing through Boards for a Bookshelf-Assembled Terabit-Per-Second-Class ATM Switch," Appl. Opt. 37, 2985-2995 (1998)