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Full Name: Interconnect by Optics

Duration: 1/9/2001-1/8/2004 (Finished)


  • IMEC participates in this project with three groups:
    • Ghent University, department of Information Technology (INTEC)
    • Ghent University, department of ELIS, TFCG group
    • Ghent University, department of ELIS, Paris group
  • Alcatel Bell N.V.
  • Avalon Photonics Ltd
  • Opto Speed SA
  • Helix AG
  • FCI 's hertogenbosch, more specific the Fiber optic division.
  • Nexans
  • R.C.I
  • PPC Electronic AG
  • Commisariat à l'Energie Atomique CEA (LETI), more specific the optronic department.


  • We will develop an optical interconnect family for a high data rate, 2D array optical interconnect between ICs, applicable at the IC-access, board level and at the board-to-board level. The approach is based on optical waveguides that are integrable with printed circuit boards, either as a post-solder build-up extension or as a solder-compatible optical layer. The optical waveguides will be based on novel Plastic Optical Fibres, and on advanced layered Glass Sheets with waveguides. Key target parameters aimed for are: channel density from 16/mm 2 (first generation) to 64/mm 2 , number of channels (at optical interfaces) ranging from 64 (first generation), to 256, data rate between 1.25 Gb/s and 2.5 Gb/s or higher. We will demonstrate a complete optical interconnect technology family in a major application area, being that of core IP routers.

INTEC's Role:

  • Prime contractor
  • Development of packaginig techniques for optical interface to CMOS IC
  • Modelling of parallel optical interconnections

Project Web site:

People involved

Research topics involved

Publications in the framework of this project (8)

        International Conferences

      1. O. Rits, R. Bockstaele, R. Baets, Packaging solution with a 3-dimensional coupling scheme for direct optical interconnects to the chip, IEEE Leos Benelux, Belgium, p.279-282 (2004)  Download this Publication (188KB).
      2. M. De Wilde, O. Rits, R. Bockstaele, J. Van Campenhout, R. Baets, A circuit-level simulation approach to analyse system level behaviour of VCSEL-based optical interconnects, VCSELs and Optical Interconnects. Proceedings of SPIE. Vol. 4942. 2003. , p.247-257  doi:10.1117/12.471929 (2003).
      3. M. De Wilde, O. Rits, R. Bockstaele, R. Baets, J. Van Campenhout, Design Methodology Development for VCSEL-based Guided-Wave Optical Interconnects, Proceedings of the 7th IEEE Workshop on Signal Propagation on Interconnects. IEEE. 2003. , p.137-138  (2003).
      4. H. Lambrecht, R. Bockstaele, R. Baets, Self-Written Waveguides in polymeric materials, IEEE LEOS Benelux, (2003).
      5. R. Bockstaele, I. Popov, S. Eitel, M. Klemenc, R. Annen, J. Van Koetsem, G. Widawski, P. Straub, P. Le Moine, F. Marion, R. Baets, A low-cost parallel optical interconnect system: the IO link, IEEE/LEOS Benelux Chapter, (2003).
      6. M. De Wilde, O. Rits, Design methodology development for guided-wave optical interconnects, Design, Automation and Test in Europe. 2003, (2003).
          National Conferences

        1. R. Bockstaele, Interconnect by Optics, Project overview & Work on Plastic Optical Fibre, POFAC Fachgruppentreffen (invited), Germany, (2004).
        2. R. Bockstaele, et al., A low-cost parallel optical interconnect system: the IO link, RMA workshop on POF, (2003).