Optical interconnects for high-speed backplanes using spectral slicing

An n-channel optical interconnect is suitable for use as a high-speed, low-latency interconnect at a backplane of a parallel processing computer. The interconnect uses spectral slicing to address the output of the processor to one or more other processors. Each processor has an optical receiver and n optical sources that each produce the same spectrum. The light output of the sources is directed to a wavelength division multiplexer (WDM) that produces an optical output signal in one or more portions of the spectrum. A selected portion is produced by energizing a selected one of the n optical sources. Each portion is associated with a single addressee processor. A passive star coupler combines all of the outputs of all of the WDM's. A wavelength division demultiplexer (WDDM) separates this composite signal back into the spectral portions. Electronic gating logic enables the appropriate source or sources at each transmitting processor. Control logic monitors transmissions from the star coupler to prevent collisions.

Patent #: 5446572 Issue Date: August 29, 1995