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Hierarchical Optical Interconnects for Computer Systems

Objective

The objective of HOLICS is to develop a hierarchical set of optical interconnects that deliver communication rates beyond those achievable with electrical interconnects, and to demonstrate and verify their benefits in a prototype implementation of a heterogeneous computer system.
The design of a hierarchical optically interconnected computing system demonstrator has been completed, based on an avionic information management system. The realization of the specific optoelectronic components, custom integrated circuits and optical pathway elements is underway, and first prototypes have been demonstrated.
The system to be developed will have three different processor clusters connected via an optical interconnect network consisting of an electronic switching fabric. A further optical network is used to connect the processors within each cluster, based on guided waves. Free-space interconnects between adjacent boards will be used in one of the clusters. The definition of appropriate protocols for the optical network will be given particular attention. The definitions will be based on existing protocols (eg EDS) and emerging standards (eg Fibre Channel).

Coordinator

GEC Marconi Materials Technology Ltd
Address
Caswell
NN12 8EQ Towcester
United Kingdom

Participants (5)

EIDGENOESSISCHE TECHNISCHE HOCHSCHULE
Switzerland
Address
Eth-zentrum
8092 Zurich
INTERUNIVERSITAIR MIKROELEKTRONICA CENTRUM
Belgium
Address
Kapeldreef, 75
3030 Heverlee
Siemens AG
Germany
Address
Otto-hahn-ring 6
81739 München
TECHNICAL RESEARCH CENTER OF FINLAND
Finland
Address
Vuorimiehentie 5
02044 VTT Espoo
Thomson CSF
France
Address
51 Esplanade Du Général De Gaulle
92045 Paris La Défense