September 16, 2008
Optical interconnects offer significant advantages for future high performance computers. Uses for and progress towards new technologies for optical interconnects are reviewed. Today, fiber-based parallel optical modules are replacing electrical cables. In the next few years, on-card optical interconnects using multimode polymer waveguides will come into use. Eventually, optical interconnects will move onto microprocessor chips using silicon photonics.
Dr. Jeffrey Kash joined IBM Research in 1981, initially studying femtosecond electron and exciton dynamics in semiconductors. In 1995, Dr. Kash co-invented Picosecond Imaging Circuit Analysis, an optical technique which is used today to debug advanced CMOS ICs. Since 2000, Dr. Kash has focused on the use of optical interconnects in computers. He directs DARPA-sponsored IBM programs for chip-to-chip optical interconnects and nanophotonic optical switches. He also has responsibility for optical interconnects in next and future generations of supercomputers. Dr. Kash has published over 140 papers in major technical journals and holds 22 patents, and is a fellow of both the APS and IEEE.