Date: 3rd Apr 2011
Altera to up the inter-chip communication
speed by going optic
When the 3D and HD digital video is the type of data crossing
devices and chips, the present copper interconnect may lack
in serving the bandwidth thirst of both telecom backhaul
equipments and also telecom terminal equipments which are
now converged as smartphone and tablet computers. So to
increase the bandwidth between chips optical interconnect
is a potential replacement for copper wired bus. The challenge
here is reducing the cost and making the design simple.
IBM and Intel and many such companies are trying hard to
put a light transmitter and receiver on silicon. The research
is though progressing but not really reached a stage to
bring it on to main production. The challenge here is fabricating
a light-emitting device over CMOS semiconductor chip using
Now FPGA vendor Altera has announced plans for optically
interconnected programmable devices. FPGA chips stream giga
bytes of data across them using high speed transcievers.
Now Altera is trying to put a direct optical interfaces
instead of pure electric signal transceivers.
Altera says for computer and storage-intensive applications
such as data centers, the integration of optical interfaces
into device packages could replace pluggable optics and
reduce power by 70 percent to 80 percent while increasing
port density and bandwidth by orders of magnitude. In backplane
applications in the military, communications infrastructure
and broadcast areas, these connections will replace expensive
board material and connectors, increase bandwidth significantly
and eliminate the signal integrity issues associated with
using copper-based solutions, adds Altera.