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Fabrication of a novel gigabit/second free-space optical interconnect - photodetector characterization and testing and system developmentThe time when computing power is limited by the copper wire inherent in the computer system and not the speed of the microprocessor is rapidly approaching. With constant advances in computer technology, many researchers believe that in only a few years, optical interconnects will begin to replace copper wires in your Central Processing Unit (CPU). On a more macroscopic scale, the telecommunications industry has already made the switch to optical data transmission as, to date, fiber optic technology is the only reasonable method of reliable, long range data transmission. Within the span of a decade, we will see optical technologies move from the macroscopic world of the telecommunications industry to the microscopic world of the computer chip. Already, the communications industry is marketing commercially available optical links to connect two personal computers, thereby eliminating the need for standard and comparatively slow wired and wireless Ethernet transfers and greatly increasing the distance the computers can be separated. As processing demands continue to increase, the realm of optical communications will continue to move closer to the microprocessor and quite possibly onto the microprocessor itself. A day may come when copper connections are used only to supply power, not transfer data. This summer s work marks some of the beginning stages of a 5 to 10 year, long-term research project to create and study a free-space, 1 Gigabit/sec optical interconnect. The research will result in a novel fabricated, chip-to-chip interconnect consisting of a Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) Diode linked through free space to a Metal- Semiconductor-Metal (MSM) Photodetector with the possible integration of microlenses for signal focusing and Micro-Electromechanical Systems (MEMS) devices for optical signal steering. The advantages, disadvantages, and practicality of incorporating flip-chip mounting technologies will also be addressed. My work began with the design and construction of a test setup for the experiment and then appropriate characterization of the test system. Specifically, I am involved in the characterization of a commercially available 1550nm wavelength, 5mW diode laser and a study of its modulation bandwidth. Commercially produced photodetectors as well as the incorporation of microwave technology, in the form of RF input and output, are used in the characterization procedure. The next stage involves the use of a probe station and network analyzer to characterize and test a series of photodetectors fabricated on a 2 inch, Indium Gallium Arsenide (InGaAs) wafer in the Branch s microlithography lab. Other project responsibilities include, but are not limited to the incorporation of a transimpedance amplifier to the photodetector circuit; a study of VCSEL technology; bit error rate analysis of an optical interconnect system; and analysis of free space divergence of the VCSEL, optical path length of the interconnect; and any other pertinent optical properties of the one gigabit per second interconnect for fabrication and testing.
Document ID
Acquisition Source
Document Type
Savich, Gregory R.
(Rochester Univ. NY, United States)
Date Acquired
August 23, 2013
Publication Date
January 1, 2004
Publication Information
Publication: Research Symposium I
Subject Category
Computer Systems
Distribution Limits
Work of the US Gov. Public Use Permitted.

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