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Reconfigurable intelligent optical backplane for parallel computing and communications

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Abstract

A reconfigurable intelligent optical backplane architecture for parallel computing and communications is described. The backplane consists of a large number of reconfigurable optical channels organized in a ring with relatively simple point-to-point optical interconnections between neighboring smart-pixel arrays. The intelligent backplane can implement (1) dynamically reconfigurable connections between any printed circuit boards, (2) dynamic embeddings of classical interconnection networks such as buses, rings, multidimensional meshes, hypercubes, shuffles, and crossbars, (3) multipoint switching, (4) sorting, (5) parallel-prefix operations, (6) pattern-matching operations, (7) snoopy caches and intelligent memory systems, and (8) media-access control functions. The smart-pixel arrays can be enhanced to include more complex functions, such as queuing and routing, as the technologies mature. Descriptions of the architecture and the smart-pixel arrays and discussions of the system cost, availability, and performance are included.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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