The innovative solutions proposed by TERABOARD consist of developing advanced intra-board and edge interfaces, with ultra-high density and scalability in bandwidth, low insertion loss and low energy consumption. The target of energy cost per channel is 2.5 pJ/bit, with a manufacturing cost of 0.1 $/Gb/s in volumes. These indicators are 10 times better with respect to the commercial state of the art.

The intra-board communication will be a novel concept based on a 3D passive interconnection platform with no intersections and no need of Wavelength Division Multiplexing (WDM). To reduce the overall power consumption of a data center, intra-rack communications will avoid the use of WDM, cutting the fibers cost and the footprint needed by fiber connectors. In both intra-board and intra-rack communications, TERABOARD will demonstrate a 10-times reduction of required power with respect to present commercial solutions.


3D passive interconnection platform: Starboard

TERABOARD will develop the following functionalities:

  1. A silica-based platform (called Starboard) for inter-node connections with unprecedented bandwidth densities and limitless scalability, very low insertion loss and with possibility of embedded functionalities as filters
  2. Intra-board transceiver banks for low power optical interconnection over short distances (40 cm), with aggregate bandwidth of 0.7 Tb/s/node (25 Gb/s x 28 waveguides), consumption of 2.5 pJ/bit and bandwidth density greater than 15 Tb/s/cm2
  3. Intra-rack interconnections (2 m) transceiver banks with aggregate bandwidth of 1.7 Tb/s (32 channels at 56 Gb/s) that will be split in blocks of 8-fiber arrays operating at 56 Gb/s/ each channel, with consumption of 2.5 pJ/bit and bandwidth density greater than 30 Tb/s/cm2
  4. Edge transceiver banks for intra-data center interconnections (2000 m), with aggregate bandwidth of 1.7 Tb/s (32 channels at 56 Gb/s) that will be arranged in 4 wavelengths Coarse Wavelength Division Multiplexing (CWDM) at 56 Gb/s, with bandwidth density of 7 Tb/s/cm2 and energy consumption of 6 pJ/bit
  5. A novel on-chip optical connector that transforms the small mode of the silicon photonics waveguides into a low index contrast mode, pluggable to an optical fiber array by means of a standard connector (MPO or MTP), with good alignment tolerance and low overall loss
  6. A novel approach for integrating lasers directly on the silicon photonics platform, combining advantages of classical flip chip integration and heterogeneous integration based on wafer bonding
  7. Advanced photonic integrated circuits on 300 mm SOI wafers, with 3D electronic-photonic integration, 56 Gb/s applications, 40 GHz photodiodes and low power consumption modulators to reach the 2.5 pJ/bit overall target of energy consumption

The silica based interconnection board, Starboard, between four processors and a switch ending on an edge connector