The use of optical interconnects for communication between points on a microchip is motivated by system-level interconnect modeling showing the saturation of metal wire capacity at the global layer. Free-space optical solutions are analyzed for intrachip communication at the global layer. A multiscale solution comprising microlenses, etched compound slope microprisms, and a curved mirror is shown to outperform a single-scale alternative. Microprisms are designed and fabricated and inserted into an optical setup apparatus to experimentally validate the concept. The multiscale free-space system is shown to have the potential to provide the bandwidth density and configuration flexibility required for global communication in future generations of microchips.
© 2006 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: December 1, 2005
Revised Manuscript: May 1, 2006
Manuscript Accepted: May 21, 2006
Michael J. McFadden, Muzammil Iqbal, Thomas Dillon, Rohit Nair, Tian Gu, Dennis W. Prather, and Michael W. Haney, "Multiscale free-space optical interconnects for intrachip global communication: motivation, analysis, and experimental validation," Appl. Opt. 45, 6358-6366 (2006)