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This work was supported by ARPA under contract MDA972-92-C-0075 and by the IBM Corporation. Dave Engebretsen was employed by the IBM Corporation at the time this work was performed. As the drive to include more and more processors and I/O devices in a parallel processor complex continues, box-to-box interconnection links capable of delivering bandwidth comparable to system backplanes is required. Point-to-point links overcome the speed and cost constraints of shared busses; however, copper-based point-to-point links are limited in the distance they can reliably carry high-speed data. At data rates of 500 Mbits/second/line, parallel copper has a practical limit of about 10 meters. Links based on parallel optical fiber can substantially increase the transmission distance and surpass the bandwidth capability of copper. Optical transmitter and receiver modules supporting a 500 MHz, 32-bit wide fiber link, with a peak bandwidth of 2 GBytes/second, have been integrated with a 500 MHz, 18-bit wide SCI-Link module. The parallel fiber optic technology was developed by the Optoelectronics Technology Consortium (OETC) while the high-bandwidth Scalable Coherent Interface-Link (SCI-Link) module was developed by IBM. Laboratory tests have demonstrated operation of a 100-meter link at a speed of 512 MHz.
Parallel processing, interconnects, fiber optics, SCI-Link (Scalable Coherent Interface-Link)

J. D. Crow, R. C. Booth, W. G. Nation, D. M. Kuchta and D. R. Engebretsen, "Parallel Fiber-Optic SCI Links," in IEEE Micro, vol. 16, no. , pp. 20-26, 1996.
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