Abstract

The design of a scalable optical local area network for multiprocessing systems is described. Each workstation has a parallel-fiber-ribbon optical link to a centralized complementary metal-oxide silicon (CMOS) switch core, implemented on a single compact printed circuit board (PCB). When the Motorola Optobus fiber technology is used, each workstation has a data bandwidth of 6.4 Gbits/s to the core. A centralized switch core interconnecting 32 workstations supports a 204-Gbit/s aggregate data bandwidth. The switch core is based on a conventional broadcast-and-select architecture, implemented with parallel CMOS integrated circuits (IC’s). The switch core scales well; by incorporation of the CMOS optoelectronic IC’s with optical input–output, the electrical core can be reduced to a single-chip optoelectronic IC with terabit capacities. A prototype of an optoelectronic switch core has been fabricated and is described. The appeal of the architecture includes its reliance on commercially available parallel-fiber technology, its reliance on the well-developed markets of local area networks and networks of workstations, and its smooth scalability from the electrical to optical domains as technology matures.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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