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Article
Publication date: 1 January 2006

Li‐Cheng Shen, Wei‐Chung Lo, Hsiang‐Hung Chang, Huan‐Chun Fu, Yuan‐Chang Lee, Yu‐Chih Chen, Shu‐Ming Chang, Wun‐Yan Chen and Ming‐Chieh Chou

To characterise the optical performance of organic multi‐mode optical waveguides integrated with printed circuit board (PCB) and to demonstrate the feasibility of 2.5 and…

Abstract

Purpose

To characterise the optical performance of organic multi‐mode optical waveguides integrated with printed circuit board (PCB) and to demonstrate the feasibility of 2.5 and 10 Gbps optical interconnection in board‐level, respectively.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper provides both qualitative and quantitative approaches for the characterization the wave guide performance, i.e. using loss measurement, optical beam profiling, ethernet verification, and eye‐diagram testing. In addition to wave guide loss measurement, the most significance part of the work reported in this paper is to evaluate optical wave guides with coupled VCSELs, by which a 3 dB coupling design budget can thus be identified. Furthermore, by artificially manipulating coupling conditions, practical concerns of EOPCB integration, including waveguide geometry, VCSEL driving power, alignment tolerance, coupling spacing, etc. are studied.

Findings

Thermal stability studies related to PCB lamination processes show the feasibility of organic waveguides integrated to traditional PCB manufacturing. For a direct VCSEL/PD coupling scheme, a 3 dB power budget is experimentally identified. For short reach optical interconnection, 10 Gbps up to 17 cm propagation on PCB can be achieved by using 50×50 μm multi‐mode organic waveguides, where a±25 μm tolerance of optical alignment is compatible to the design rules of PCB.

Originality/value

The value of the paper lies in its systematic approaches to identify the waveguide performance through both qualitative and quantitative indices. The correlation between geometry design, processes, coupling conditions, and optical performance of organic waveguides explored in detail. Not only is a standard eye‐diagram test used to verify the waveguide at 2.5 and 10 Gbps bandwidth, but also a prototype of optical data‐communication on giga‐ethernet is demonstrated for long term stability. Following these analytical methods, readers can understand more about the optical performance of waveguides when designing optical interconnection for high speed electro‐optical integrated PCBs.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 32 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

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Article
Publication date: 17 August 2012

Marika Immonen, Jinhua Wu, Hui Juan Yan, Peifeng Chen, Jian Xiong Xu and Tarja Rapala‐Virtanen

The purpose of this paper is to study fabrication of optical‐PCBs on panel scale boards in a conventional modern PCB process environment. It evaluates impacts on board…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study fabrication of optical‐PCBs on panel scale boards in a conventional modern PCB process environment. It evaluates impacts on board design and manufacturing with the developed optical board verifiers outlining challenges and requirements for manufacturing low‐loss waveguide structures and optical building blocks. The study aims to expand the current knowledge in the field by adding results obtained by utilizing industrial production infrastructure and developed scalable manufacturing processes to fabricate optical‐PCBs and board assemblies in high‐volumes and low‐cost manner.

Design/methodology/approach

Impacts on board design and manufacturing were studied with the developed optical technology verifiers. One verifier is optical‐PCB with embedded waveguides, integrated i/o couplers and optical vias. Another verifier is large size PCB with optical layer. A system‐level optical board assembly with 12.5 Gb/s Tx/Rx devices on surface mounted ball grid array (BGA) modules is designed for optical link analysis. Fabricated optical structures on verifiers are evaluated of their physical characteristics utilizing optical, SEM, LSCM analysis methods. Performance testing is conducted using standard optical transmission measurement methods and equipment.

Findings

The paper provides empirical results about fabrication of multimode optical waveguides with conventional PCB process equipment. Results suggest that current coating and imaging equipments are capable of producing optical waveguide patterns with high resolution and size accuracy. However, fabricators would require larger process window and defect tolerance for processing optical materials to obtain low‐loss waveguides with sufficient yields.

Research limitations/implications

Because of the limited amount of design variants in production verifiers evaluated in this paper, some impacts like effect of base material, board construction, optical layer location and beam coupling solution were not evaluated. Likewise, impacts on long‐term stability and cost were not addressed. These factors however require further investigation to address technical feasibility of optical PCBs technology prior commercial high volume production.

Practical implications

The paper includes implications for the development of a fabrication methods and testing procedures for optical polymer waveguide layers on PCBs.

Originality/value

This paper fulfils need to provide results on design, fabrication and characterization of optical PCBs and backplanes from industrial fabricator's perspective. The paper provides input for end‐user and developers to evaluate technical performance, robustness, and maturity of building blocks and supply chain to support polymer waveguide based technology for intra‐system optical links.

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Article
Publication date: 27 November 2007

Marika P. Immonen, Mikko Karppinen and Jorma K. Kivilahti

To investigate the influences of environmental stresses on board‐embedded polymeric waveguides.

Abstract

Purpose

To investigate the influences of environmental stresses on board‐embedded polymeric waveguides.

Design/methodology/approach

Optical multimode waveguides were embedded on printed circuit boards using commercial polymers. The optical‐PCBs varying in board structure and in optical build‐up materials were exposed to heat, moisture and ionic‐contaminants in accelerated reliability tests. The influence of stress factors on the structural integrity and functional parameters, namely the refractive index and optical transmissivity, was investigated at the key communication wavelengths.

Findings

Isothermal annealing reduced the refractive index to the greatest extent. The optical‐PCB structure with an optical surface build‐up layer was observed to be more vulnerable under temperature shock when compared with the optical‐PCB with optical inner layer. The buffer layer beneath the optical build‐up was found to improve the stability of the optical waveguides significantly. The results indicated of wavelength dependence to the aging factor with a failure mechanism. The factors affecting the performance and reliability of polymer‐based optical waveguides on PCBs were discussed.

Research limitations/implications

More experimental data and investigations of failure mechanisms are required to ultimately obtain sufficient reliability statistics for accurate life‐time prediction models.

Originality/value

Optical interconnects are seen as a promising solution to overcome performance limitations encountered with high‐frequency electrical interconnections. As an emerging technology, only a limited amount of reliability data on optical/electrical packages is available. The paper investigates the influences of environmental stresses on board‐embedded polymeric waveguides.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

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Article
Publication date: 27 November 2007

Richard Pitwon, Ken Hopkins and Dave Milward

To present work and characterisation results from a project to develop a pluggable optical connector for board to board interconnect.

Abstract

Purpose

To present work and characterisation results from a project to develop a pluggable optical connector for board to board interconnect.

Design/methodology/approach

An optical backplane connection system is described, which allows for repeatable docking and undocking of an active optical interface housed on a daughtercard to waveguides fabricated on an optical backplane.

Findings

The optical backplane connection system described has demonstrated its successful implementation with respect to optical data transfer across multimode polymer waveguides. Measurement results presented show that such a system is a viable approach toward the application of pluggable optical backplane interconnects.

Research limitations/implications

The direct connection to the exposed waveguide interface results in considerable optical loss and scattering. Future designs will have to address this. Additional work should also be undertaken to develop a means of connector engagement that is autonomous and requires no user intervention.

Originality/value

Prior research into the problem of coupling to an optical backplane has been concerned with interfaces that deflect optical signals by 90° into and out of the waveguides. Here, an alternative approach is proposed that launches light directly into the waveguide ends.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 33 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

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Article
Publication date: 23 November 2010

Richard C.A. Pitwon, Ken Hopkins, Dave Milward, Malcolm Muggeridge, David R. Selviah and Kai Wang

The purpose of this paper is to present the latest results from research and development into future optical printed circuit board (OPCB) interconnects and low‐cost…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present the latest results from research and development into future optical printed circuit board (OPCB) interconnects and low‐cost assembly methods.

Design/methodology/approach

A novel method of high‐precision passive alignment and assembly to OPCBs was invented and a full evaluation platform developed to demonstrate the viability of this technique.

Findings

The technique was successfully deployed to passively align and assemble a lens receptacle onto an embedded polymer waveguide array in an electro‐OPCB. The lens receptacle formed a critical part of a dual lens pluggable in‐plane connection interface between peripheral optical devices and an OPCB. A lateral in‐plane mechanical accuracy of ±2 μm has been measured using this technique.

Research limitations/implications

As this is a free space optical coupling process, surface scattering at the exposed waveguide end facet was significant.

Originality/value

This paper details a novel method of passively assembling arbitrary optical devices onto multi‐mode optical waveguides and outlines the procedure and equipment required. A lens coupling solution is also presented which reduces susceptibility of a connecting optical interface to contamination.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 36 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

Keywords

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide an overview of the research in a project aimed at developing manufacturing techniques for integrated optical and electronic interconnect printed circuit boards (OPCB) including the motivation for this research, the progress, the achievements and the interactions between the partners.

Design/methodology/approach

Several polymer waveguide fabrication methods were developed including direct laser write, laser ablation and inkjet printing. Polymer formulations were developed to suit the fabrication methods. Computer‐aided design (CAD) tools were developed and waveguide layout design rules were established. The CAD tools were used to lay out a complex backplane interconnect pattern to meet practical demanding specifications for use in a system demonstrator.

Findings

Novel polymer formulations for polyacrylate enable faster writing times for laser direct write fabrication. Control of the fabrication parameters enables inkjet printing of polysiloxane waveguides. Several different laser systems can be used to form waveguide structures by ablation. Establishment of waveguide layout design rules from experimental measurements and modelling enables successful first time layout of complex interconnection patterns.

Research limitations/implications

The complexity and length of the waveguides in a complex backplane interconnect, beyond that achieved in this paper, is limited by the bend loss and by the propagation loss partially caused by waveguide sidewall roughness, so further research in these areas would be beneficial to give a wider range of applicability.

Originality/value

The paper gives an overview of advances in polymer formulation, fabrication methods and CAD tools, for manufacturing of complex hybrid‐integrated OPCBs.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 May 2008

David R. Selviah, F. Aníbal Fernández, Ioannis Papakonstantinou, Kai Wang, Hadi Bagshiahi, Andy C. Walker, Aongus McCarthy, Himanshu Suyal, David A. Hutt, Paul P. Conway, John Chappell, Shefiu S. Zakariyah and Dave Milward

To introduce the Innovative Electronics Manufacturing Research Centre Flagship Project: Integrated Optical and Electronic Interconnect PCB Manufacturing, its objectives…

Abstract

Purpose

To introduce the Innovative Electronics Manufacturing Research Centre Flagship Project: Integrated Optical and Electronic Interconnect PCB Manufacturing, its objectives, its consortium of three universities and ten companies and to describe the university research being carried out. This paper briefly reviews the motivation for developing novel polymer formulations, fabrication techniques, layout design rules and characterisation techniques for hybrid electronic and optical printed circuit boards (PCBs) using multimode polymer optical waveguide interconnects.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors are investigating a number of different fabrication techniques which they compare with each other and with modelled calculations of waveguide components. The fabrication techniques include photolithography, laser ablation, direct laser writing, embossing, extrusion and ink jet printing.

Findings

A number of design rules for polymer multimode waveguides have been found and published. Techniques for ink jetting polymer to print waveguides and laser ablation techniques have been developed. New formulations of polymer which cure faster for direct writing have also been developed.

Research limitations/implications

Further work is needed to thicken the ink jet printed polymer and to investigate side wall roughness of the ablated waveguides and development of new polymer formulations for dry film. Further research is also needed on construction of prototype system demonstrators.

Practical implications

The fabrication techniques being developed are designed to be transferred to industrial PCB manufacturers to enable them to make higher value optical PCBs. The design rules being discovered are being entered into commercial PCB layout software to aid designers of optical PCBs.

Originality/value

The paper is of interest to PCB manufacturers who wish to upgrade their processes to be able to manufacture optical PCBs. The university research is original and some has been published as shown in the publications in the reference list.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Happy T. Holden

High density interconnect (HDI) printed circuits are now being designed in ever‐increasing quantities for very high‐speed applications. The challenge of opto‐electronics…

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Abstract

High density interconnect (HDI) printed circuits are now being designed in ever‐increasing quantities for very high‐speed applications. The challenge of opto‐electronics and integration of photonics into the printed circuit has started to take off. In the next 7 years, expectations are that photonic printed circuit boards will grow to a $2.5 billion industry. This paper looks at the issues, materials and current processes being researched by European, Japanese and North American organizations to create this integrated opto‐electronic circuit board. In addition to reviewing the global players in polymer photonics, this paper will review the current programs of four of the six groups globally, namely EOBC‐OptoFoil (University of Ulm, Fraunhafer Inst., Daimler‐Chrysler, Siemens), PolyGuide (Dupont, HP), TOPCat (NIST, 3M, Goodyear), Truemode™ (Terahertz), NTT and JIEP.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 29 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Denis Sweatman, Olly Powell and Shinoj Francis

To detail results of research into optical waveguides fabricated from silicon on insulator (SOI) for on‐chip high speed applications and from polymer for more general applications.

Abstract

Purpose

To detail results of research into optical waveguides fabricated from silicon on insulator (SOI) for on‐chip high speed applications and from polymer for more general applications.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper shows the processes for wet etch fabrication of SOI single mode rib waveguides including compact crystal plane turning mirrors. Losses for the mirror facets are determined by difference measurements. Multimode polymer strip waveguides are fabricated on glass substrates by conventional photolithography using SU8 polymer and tested for attenuation.

Findings

Fabrication of compact turning mirrors for silicon waveguides requires precise alignment of masks and controlled etching of the corner facets in order to obtain correct alignment of the mirror face with the incoming and outgoing waveguides. Measurements of losses per mirror facet show typical losses of 1‐2 dB/facet. Suggestions for improvements are made. Preliminary results for polymer waveguides show the necessity for high quality lithography.

Originality/value

Optical interconnects for high speed communication on board and on chip are part of the ITRS Road Map for advanced interconnects. Design of optical elements to enable this, including reduction of on‐chip area by turning mirrors, is necessary for on‐chip optical technology to be successful. Compact etched mirrors described here extend previous designs and enable fabrication at any position on‐chip. New etch mask techniques for silicon waveguide fabrication are also described.

Details

Circuit World, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0305-6120

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 1992

Radislav Potyrailo and Sergei Golubkov

Achievements in guided wave optics have had a great influence on many areas of technology for several years. Fibre optic communication links, sensors for various…

Abstract

Achievements in guided wave optics have had a great influence on many areas of technology for several years. Fibre optic communication links, sensors for various parameters, recently developed distributed temperature sensors, integrated optical switches, etc. are all applications that are commercially available. The field of analytical chemistry is no exception in this growing technology. In order to compete with well‐established chemical‐sensing instrumentation, optical waveguide chemical sensors (OWCSs) must show all the qualities of such instrumentation. OWCSs combine well‐known features of sensors, based on waveguide optics, with optical methods of chemical analysis and offer advantages over other types of chemical sensor. OWCSs are electrically passive, corrosion‐resistant, can respond to analytes for which other chemical sensors are not available, and referencing can be carried out optically. They allow multicomponent measurements at several wavelengths, have a common technology for fabrication of sensors for different chemical and physical parameters and are easily compatible with telemetry etc. Further, only OWCSs are capable of distributed sensing. However, interference from ambient light, temperature, long‐term instability, relatively slow response time, and limited dynamic range may be a problem for some types of OWCS. These disadvantages can be considerably reduced using various methods.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 12 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

1 – 10 of 334