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A Macrochip Interconnection Network Enabled by Silicon Nanophotonic Devices

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We present an advanced wavelength-division multiplexing point-to-point network enabled by silicon nanophotonic devices. This network offers strictly non-blocking all-to-all connectivity while maximizing bisection bandwidth, making it ideal for multi-core and multi-processor interconnections. We introduce one of the key components, the nanophotonic grating coupler, and discuss, for the first time, how this device can be useful for practical implementations of the wavelength-division multiplexing network using optical proximity communications. Finite difference time-domain simulation of the nanophotonic grating coupler device indicates that it can be made compact (20 μm × 50 μm), low loss (3.8 dB), and broadband (100 nm). These couplers require subwavelength material modulation at the nanoscale to achieve the desired functionality. We show that optical proximity communication provides unmatched optical I/O bandwidth density to electrical chips, which enables the application of wavelength-division multiplexing point-to-point network in macrochip with unprecedented bandwidth-density. The envisioned physical implementation is discussed. The benefits of such an interconnect network include a 5–6× improvement in latency when compared to a purely electronic implementation. Performance analysis shows that the wavelength-division multiplexing point-to-point network offers better overall performance over other optical network architectures.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2010-03-01

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  • Journal for Nanoscience and Nanotechnology (JNN) is an international and multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal with a wide-ranging coverage, consolidating research activities in all areas of nanoscience and nanotechnology into a single and unique reference source. JNN is the first cross-disciplinary journal to publish original full research articles, rapid communications of important new scientific and technological findings, timely state-of-the-art reviews with author's photo and short biography, and current research news encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine.
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