Content on this page requires a newer version of Adobe Flash Player.

Get Adobe Flash player

Home : Applications : Chip-to-Chip Interconnect Applications


Chip-to-Chip Interconnect Applications

“If growth rates in Internet traffic and information processing continue, reducing the energy processed or communicated will be crucial.”

National Academy of Science

Optical Backplane Interconnects for Data Centers

The power consumed by enterprise and Internet-hosting data centers is doubling every five years and was recently estimated to constitute almost 3% of overall power usage in the United States. At the same time, the demand for wide-bandwidth services such as streaming video, social networking, and “cloud” computing is rising exponentially, exhausting the capabilities of the copper-based technologies employed in data centers, particularly at the level of backplane interconnections. As a result, there is a compelling need for technologies that are at once high speed and energy efficient.

Optical solutions have the potential to solve this problem by virtue of their significant data transmission rates and low power consumption. PhotonIC Corp.’s CMOS-compatible manufacturing technology allows for the seamless integration of optical and electronic components on a single substrate, thereby answering the need for high-speed, low-cost, low-power solutions.

Optically Based In-Flight Entertainment Systems

Although public demand for in-flight entertainment (IFE) services continues to grow, current IFE systemsmost of which are based on an elaborate network of copper cabling and cumbersome hardware racksadd substantial weight and power requirements to commercial aircraft. In addition, copper wiring schemes continue to pose potential safety concerns.

“Any time more copper wiring is added to an aircraft, there is more chance for something to go wrong.”

Former DOT inspector

PhotonIC Corporation’s optical fiber-based solution would address these issues by eliminating heat dissipation while yielding a 10- to 15-fold reduction in weight, resulting in increased fuel efficiency and reduced power and cooling requirements. In addition, the higher bandwidth capabilities of photonic solutions would translate into the provision of richer content.

Optical USB 3.0

USB technology has allowed for the high-speed connection to PCs of a host of peripheral devices, including flash drives, digital cameras, videoconferencing cameras, media players, and high-definition movies. USB 3.0, or SuperSpeed USB, promises to further expand this capability by ushering in a 10- to 20-fold increase in data transfer rates. However, some overheating problems have been reported with USB 3.0 controller chips. In addition, electrical USB 3.0’s high bit rate has the potential to introduce problems stemming from electromagnetic interference (EMI), and RF interference has been reported between 3.0 peripheral and wireless devices operating at 2.4 GHz. PhotonIC Corp. is pursuing an integrated photonic version of USB 3.0 that would allow for a twofold increase in data transmission over electrical USB 3.0 while diminishing weight and power consumption, eliminating EMI, and driving down overall unit cost.

USB 3.0 Cable Length Active Power Bandwidth
Electrical 3 Meters ~ 500 mW 5 Gbps
Optical 300 Meters ~ 200 mW Up to 10 GBps