Applied Physics A

, Volume 95, Issue 4, pp 983–988 | Cite as

A terabit capacity passive polymer optical backplane based on a  novel meshed waveguide architecture

  • J. BealsIVEmail author
  • N. Bamiedakis
  • A. Wonfor
  • R. V. Penty
  • I. H. White
  • J. V. DeGrootJr.
  • K. Hueston
  • T. V. Clapp
  • M. Glick


An optical backplane based on a meshed polymer waveguide architecture enabling high-speed board-to-board optical interconnection is presented. This planar array of multimode polymer waveguides can provide passive strictly non-blocking links between server line cards fitted with optical transmitter and receiver arrays. This architecture offers a scalable and low-cost solution to the bandwidth limitations faced by electrical backplanes and is suitable for PCB integration. The reported backplane demonstrator uses a matrix of 100 waveguides each capable of 10 Gb/s operation to interconnect 10 cards for a total capacity of a terabit per second aggregate data rate in multicast mode. Characterisation of the backplane demonstrator reveals low link losses of 2 to 8 dB for a multimode fibre input and crosstalk values below −35 dB. Error free data transmission at 10 Gb/s is achieved with a power penalty of only 0.2 dB at a bit-error-rate of 10−9. Additionally, lossless operation of a Gigabit Ethernet link over the backplane is achieved even when using the worst-case highest loss links.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • J. BealsIV
    • 1
    Email author
  • N. Bamiedakis
    • 1
  • A. Wonfor
    • 1
  • R. V. Penty
    • 1
  • I. H. White
    • 1
  • J. V. DeGrootJr.
    • 2
  • K. Hueston
    • 2
  • T. V. Clapp
    • 2
  • M. Glick
    • 3
  1. 1.Centre for Photonic Systems, Electrical Engineering Division, Department of EngineeringUniversity of CambridgeCambridgeUK
  2. 2.Dow Corning CorporationMidlandUSA
  3. 3.Intel ResearchPittsburghUSA

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