Reflex Photonics unveils chip-level optical interconnect

MAY 27, 2008 By Stephen Hardy -- Reflex Photonics, a Canadian company that has made its greatest noise in board-to-board and rack-to-rack communications, has unveiled the third leg in its interconnectivity tripod.

MAY 27, 2008 By Stephen Hardy -- Reflex Photonics (search for Reflex Photonics), a Canadian company that has made its greatest noise in board-to-board and rack-to-rack communications, has unveiled the third leg in its interconnectivity tripod. The company's new Light on Board HyperDense product line of parallel channel optical components focuses on intra- and inter-PCB applications, with an emphasis on optically connecting ICs.

Like the company's recently announced active optical cable and SNAP 12 offerings, the HyperDense line leverages Reflex Photonics' LightABLE parallel optical subassemblies, says company president and CEO Gary Moskovitz. Because of the subassemblies' small size, they can be packaged to provide space-effective, high-speed chip-to-chip links over distances as short as an inch, he asserts.

Each HyperDense component features 12 individual parallel fiber optic channels integrated into MT-based I/O connector modules. The HyperDense products can be configured as transmitters, receivers, or transceivers, with up to eight I/O connector modules available for each type of product.

The company has designed the HyperDense line to be small enough to be embedded within an IC package via a pick-and-place procedure. The company has developed a prototype BGA package that contains two 12-channel connectors, with each channel capable of supporting 5 Gbits/sec. Moskovitz envisions a fully configured HyperDense application would aggregate up to a terabit per second (96 channels of 10 Gbits/sec each). The transceivers can handle simultaneous bi-directional data in the aggregate of up to 480 Gbits/sec, with each of the 48 receive and 48 transit channels running at 10 Gbits/sec.

The use of parallel optics technology provides significant cost, power, and real estate savings, Moskovitz says. For example, the interconnection technology also can be used for chip-to-transceiver links. For applications that require high port density, a large number of single-channel transceivers could thus be replaced by a smaller number of parallel transceivers, he explains.

The HyperDense line is making its debut at the Electronic Components and Technology Conference (ECTC) in Lake Buena Vista, FL, this week.

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