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Pioneering Research in Vcsel-Based Parallel Optical Interconnect Technology for Today’s Data Centers
Yung-Sheng Liu

In early 90s, DARPA took major initiatives to develop advanced optical interconnect technologies. Dr. James Grote of AFRL was the Initiator and Program Manager of one of these programs, Polymer Optical Interconnect Technology (POINT) which involved GE, Honeywell, Allied Signal, AMP, Columbia University and UCSD. The program focused on: (a) VCSEL array devices and related packaging technology; (b) Passive alignment for OE packaging; (c) polymer materials (Polyguide) for board and backplane interconnects; and (d) testbed of a 10-channel VCSEL array-based parallel optical links for backplane demonstration. This was one of the earliest research efforts which lead to parallel optical links used widely in today’s data centers.

Keywords: DAPRA, AFRL, POINT, Optical interconnects, VCSEL arrays, polymer waveguides, passive alignment, board and backplane interconnects, parallel optical links, data centers

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