Free-space optical interconnects represent a solution to the problems of future connection-intensive digital systems, such as ATM switching systems and massively-parallel-processing computer systems. These systems will require the large board-to-board connectivity provided by an optical backplane created with two-dimensional arrays of passive, free-space parallel optical channels (POCs) to optically interconnect electronic printed circuit boards (PCBs) and/or multichip modules (MCMs). Such a backplane could be capable of supporting terabit-per-second aggregate capacities with connectivity levels of the order of 104 input/output channels per PCB.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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