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.

Read the full story :

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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