Energy-Performance Optimized Design of Silicon Photonic Interconnection Networks for High-Performance Computing

Meisam Bahadori1, Sébastien Rumley1, Robert Polster1, Alexander Gazman1, Matt Traverso2, Mark Webster2, Kaushik Patel2 and Keren Bergman1
1Department of Electrical Engineering, Columbia University, New York, NY 10027, USA
2Silicon Photonics Development, Cisco System, 95134, CA, USA


We present detailed electrical and optical models of the elements that comprise a WDM silicon photonic link. The electronics is assumed to be based on 65 nm CMOS node and the optical modulators and demultiplexers are based on microring resonators. The goal of this study is to analyze the energy consumption and scalability of the link by finding the right combination of (number of channels x data rate per channel) that fully covers the available optical power budget. Based on the set of empirical and analytical models presented in this work, a maximum capacity of 0.75 Tbps can be envisioned for a point-topoint link with an energy consumption of 1.9 pJ/bit. Sub-pJ/bit energy consumption is also predicted for aggregated bitrates up to 0.35 Tbps.

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