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Optical Waveguide PCB Interconnects
Written by Gizmo   
Wednesday, 01 April 2009 10:46

From Printed Circuit Design and Fab :

Optical technology continues to displace copper for for high-speed data transmission, but wide spread adaptation is still five years away.

Increased computing power is the primary driver in a move towards the optical interconnect.  This drives miniaturization, high density circuits and high date rates resulting in a bottleneck at the electrical connections. Electrical (copper) interconnections, under these conditions, compromise performance and require increasing costs to shield and to condition signals to overcome electrical interconnection issues.

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The general consensus is that a copper pair is a viable media for transmitting up to 18 Gb/s over a maximum distance of one meter using conditioning/detection circuits. Whether or not copper can be used at greater bandwidth/distance combinations, is an open issue.

Practical multi-mode optical interconnection solutions using optical fiber and planar polymer waveguides are still being explored, developed and prototyped. A few years ago, the envisioned deployment was 2008/2009. Today, it appears that wide spread adaptation is still a few years off and that 2010 to 2015 might be closer to reality.

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