Abstract

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

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