T3: Optical Interconnects for NOCS and Off-chip Communications

Philip Watts (Univ. of Cambridge, UK), Kevin Williams (Eindhoven Univ. of Technology, The Netherlands)

4:00PM - 6:00PM

Abstract: Optical interconnects have been widely proposed in order to overcome the bandwidth and power consumption bottlenecks of copper for computer systems. This interest has been driven by rapid developments in integrated optical devices as well as the growing power issues in multicore systems. This tutorial will review the optical interconnect field, focusing on power consumption and optical integration issues. Starting from fundamentals, we will show how to estimate the power consumption of an optical link in different network configurations. We then discuss the state of the art and future challenges in optical integration to show the potential for bringing high bandwidth as close to the processors as possible.

Speaker Bios: Philip Watts was appointed Research Fellow in the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge in 2008 supported by funding from the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 and the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). His research interests span optical interconnects for large computer systems and electronic signal processing, coding and control systems for optical networks. The main focus of his current research is understanding the system level power and performance implications of integrated optical networks on future computer systems. Philip has 20 years experience of optical technology research both in industry and academia. His industrial experience has included work with BAE Systems Advanced Technology Centre, Nortel Networks and optical interconnect research with Intel Research as well as collaborations and consultancy with Xtera Communications, Ericsson and Huawei Technologies. He obtained his PhD on the subject of electronic dispersion compensation for optical communication with the Optical Networks Group in the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University College London in 2008 and was awarded the IEEE Photonics Society postgraduate student fellowship in 2006. He has published more than 30 papers and patents in the field.

Kevin Williams was appointed at the Technical University Eindhoven in 2006 following the award of a European Commission funded Marie Curie Chair. In 2011, he received a Dutch VICI award to expand his studies into ultra‐high‐speed, high‐density photonic integrated circuits. Research interests encompass a range of active photonic components for high capacity data links and reconfigurable optical links. A particular current interest is the design and fabrication of monolithic reconfigurable photonic switch circuits to facilitate low latency and high end to end capacity in data networking. Following his PhD at the University of Bath, he moved to the University of Bristol where he was awarded a UK Royal Society university research fellowship to study high speed and high power semiconductor lasers. Subsequently he moved to the University of Cambridge in 2001 and was appointed a Fellow and lecturer at Churchill College. He retains a position as Visiting Fellow at the Cambridge University Engineering Department. Kevin is Associate Editor with the IEEE Photonics Society Newsletter.

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