Characterisation of a reconfigurable free space optical interconnect system for parallel computing applications and experimental validation using rapid prototyping technology
Gil Otero, Rafael
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Free-space optical interconnects (FSOIs) are widely seen as a potential solution to present and future bandwidth bottlenecks for parallel processing applications. This thesis will be focused on the study of a particular FSOI system called Optical Highway (OH). The OH is a polarised beam routing system which uses Polarising Beam Splitters and Liquid Crystals (PBS/LC) assemblies to perform reconfigurable interconnection networks. The properties of the OH make it suitable for implementing different passive static networks. A technology known as Rapid Prototyping (RP) will be employed for the first time in order to create optomechanical structures at low cost and low production times. Off-theshelf optical components will also be characterised in order to implement the OH. Additionally, properties such as reconfigurability, scalability, tolerance to misalignment and polarisation losses will be analysed. The OH will be modelled at three levels: node, optical stage and architecture. Different designs will be proposed and a particular architecture, Optimised Cut-Through Ring (OCTR), will be experimentally implemented. Finally, based on this architecture, a new set of properties will be defined in order to optimise the efficiency of the optical channels.