Integration of optical interconnections on a printed circuit board (PCB) is very challenging, since compatibility should be maintained with standard PCB manufacturing technology. This paper describes the use of laser ablation, a technique already used in PCB manufacturing for drilling microvias, as a suitable technique for the fabrication of multimode polymer waveguides, micromirrors, alignment features, and microlenses. A frequency-tripled Nd-YAG laser and a KrF excimer laser are used, both mounted on the same stage, resulting in very high alignment accuracies. This paper demonstrates a parallel optical link over approximately 5-cm-long PCB integrated waveguides, fully connected using a standard MT-based connector. This proves that laser ablation can be a key technology in optical board manufacturing to reach the stringent coupling tolerances.
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