A parallel data-communication scheme is described for interchip communication with free-space optics. We present a proof-of-concept and feasibility demonstration of a practical modular packaging approach in which free-space optical interconnect modules can be simply integrated on top of an electronic multichip module (MCM). Our packaging architecture is based on a modified folded 4-<i>f</i> imaging system that is implemented with off-the-shelf optics, conventional electronic packaging techniques, and passive assembly techniques to yield a potentially low-cost packaging solution. The prototype system, as built, supports 48 independent free-space channels with eight separate laser and detector chips, in which each chip consists of a one-dimensional array of 12 devices. All chips are assembled on a single ceramic carrier together with three silicon complementary metal-oxide semiconductor chips. Parallel optoelectronic (OE) free-space interconnections are demonstrated at a speed of 200 MHz. The system is compact at only 10 in.<sup>3</sup> (~164 cm<sup>3</sup>) and is scalable because it can easily accommodate additional chips as well as two-dimensional OE device arrays for increased interconnection density.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
(200.0200) Optics in computing : Optics in computing
(200.2610) Optics in computing : Free-space digital optics
(200.4650) Optics in computing : Optical interconnects
(250.0250) Optoelectronics : Optoelectronics
Xuezhe Zheng, Philippe J. Marchand, Dawei Huang, and Sadik C. Esener, "Free-space parallel multichip interconnection system," Appl. Opt. 39, 3516-3524 (2000)