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<p>Metal-based communications between subsystems and chips has become the limiting factor in high-speed computing. Maturing optics-based technologies offer advantages that may unplug this bottleneck. Optical interconnects offer high-speed computers key advantages over metal interconnects. These include (1) high spatial and temporal bandwidths, (2) high-speed transmission, (3) low crosstalk independent of data rates, and (4) high interconnect densities. Although faster device switching speeds will eventually be necessary for future massively parallel computing systems, the deciding factor in determining system performance and cost will be subsystem communications rather than device speed. Free-space optical interconnects, by virtue of their inherent parallelism, high data bandwidth, small size and power requirement, and relative freedom from mutual interference of signals, already show great promise in replacing metal interconnects to solve communication problems.</p>

A. Louri and H. Sung, "3D Optical Interconnects for High-Speed Interchip and Interboard Communications," in Computer, vol. 27, no. , pp. 27-37, 1994.
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