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Optical Communications for Data Centres and High Performance Computing

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Eiko Yoneki.

The growth of global communications has relied on the continuous increase in bandwidth and hence the reduction in the cost per transmitted bit that has been achieved in optical communications. As internet traffic is still growing at 60% (2dB) per year, innovation is still required to provide greater bandwidths for data centres and metropolitan and backbone links. Current developments concentrate on advanced signal processing, modulation formats and coding. In parallel, exciting new photonic technologies are promising high bandwidths directly to the computer chip with greatly reduced power consumption.

In this talk, I will review these developments and present two examples: firstly, the results of a collaboration with Intel Research, UCL and Carnegie Mellon University aimed at generating serial 100 Gb/s signals for data centre applications using orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (OFDM). Secondly, I will describe how the latest developments in photonic technologies such as silicon photonics, high speed optical switches and polymer waveguides together with 3D integration could provide high bandwidth, low power communications embedded within the package of a computer chip. In both cases there is a need for interdisciplinary research to explore the implications of these technologies in the design of large computer systems.

This talk is part of the Computer Laboratory Systems Research Group Seminar series.

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