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Applied Optics

Applied Optics


  • Vol. 39, Iss. 11 — Apr. 10, 2000
  • pp: 1815–1825

Volume-consumption comparisons of free-space and guided-wave optical interconnections

Yao Li and Jan Popelek  »View Author Affiliations

Applied Optics, Vol. 39, Issue 11, pp. 1815-1825 (2000)

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We compare volume-consumption characteristics of free-space and guided-wave optical interconnections. System volume consumption is used as a fundamental measure of various point-to-point space-invariant and space-variant interconnections of two-dimensional arrays of N1/2 × N1/2 points. We show that, in free-space and space-invariant situations, although volume consumption for macroaperture optics is O1(N3/2), where O denotes the order, it is only O2(N) for microaperture optics. For free-space and space-variant operations only microaperture optics is possible without fundamental power losses. The corresponding minimum volume consumption is O3(N3). We show that single microaperture-per-channel implementations of either space-invariant or space-variant operations are, in general, more volume efficient than are their two-cascade microaperture-per-channel counterparts. We also show that, for minimizing volume consumption, the optimum relative apertures F#opt for space-variant optical elements are, respectively, (5N)1/2/4 for a single microaperture-per-channel geometry and (5N)1/2/2 for a two-cascade microaperture-per-channel geometry. In guided-wave or fiber interconnect cases our study shows that the volume consumption for space-invariant and space-variant operations is O4(N), with O4 < O2, and O5(N3/2), respectively. Thus an important conclusion of the study is that free-space optics is less volume efficient than is guided-wave optics in both space-invariant and space-variant interconnect applications.

© 2000 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(050.1960) Diffraction and gratings : Diffraction theory
(130.3120) Integrated optics : Integrated optics devices
(200.2610) Optics in computing : Free-space digital optics
(200.4650) Optics in computing : Optical interconnects
(200.4960) Optics in computing : Parallel processing

Original Manuscript: June 25, 1999
Revised Manuscript: November 3, 1999
Published: April 10, 2000

Yao Li and Jan Popelek, "Volume-consumption comparisons of free-space and guided-wave optical interconnections," Appl. Opt. 39, 1815-1825 (2000)

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