Free space intra-datacenter interconnects based on 2D optical beam steering enabled by photonic integrated circuits
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Data centers are continuously growing in scale and can contain more than one million servers spreading across thousands of racks; requiring a large-scale switching network to provide broadband and reconfigurable interconnections of low latency. Traditional data center network architectures, through the use of electrical packet switches in a multi-tier topology, has fundamental weaknesses such as oversubscription and cabling complexity. Wireless intra-data center interconnection solutions have been proposed to deal with the cabling problem and can simultaneously address the over-provisioning problem by offering efficient topology re-configurability. In this work we introduce a novel free space optical interconnect solution for intra-data center networks that utilizes 2D optical beam steering for the transmitter, and high bandwidth wide-area photodiode arrays for the receiver. This new breed of free space optical interconnects can be developed on a photonic integrated circuit; offering ns switching at sub-µW consumption. The proposed interconnects together with a networking architecture that is suitable for utilizing those devices could support next generation intra-data center networks, fulfilling the requirements of seamless operation, high connectivity, and agility in terms of the reconfiguration time.
CitationChaintoutis, C.; Shariati, M.; Bogris, A. Free space intra-datacenter interconnects based on 2D optical beam steering enabled by photonic integrated circuits. "Photonics", 1 Setembre 2018, vol. 5, núm. 3, p. 21-1-21-10.