, Volume 95, Issue 4, pp 1059-1066
Date: 21 Mar 2009

Fabrication and characterization of hollow metal waveguides for optical interconnect applications

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As data rates continue to increase in high-performance computer systems and networks, it is becoming more difficult for copper-based interconnects to keep pace. An alternative approach to meet these requirements is to move to optical-based interconnect technologies which offer a number of advantages over the legacy copper-based solutions. In order to meet the stringent requirements of high performance and low cost, manufacturable waveguide technologies must be developed. Past solutions have often employed polymer waveguide technologies, which can be expensive and limited by modal dispersion. In the present work, hollow metal waveguides (HMWGs) are investigated as a potential alternative. These waveguides demonstrate very low optical losses of <0.05 dB/cm and the capability to transmit at extremely high data rates. The fabrication, modeling, characterization of the HMWGs are discussed to enable photonic interconnect solutions for future generations of computer and server products.