Free-space optical interconnect using arrays of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) and photoreceivers can significantly increase the board-to-board interconnect bandwidth, relieving the bottleneck of traditional backplane systems in computer servers. However, critical alignment errors, due to insertion variation, have prevented the deployment of such a technology. We present an adaptive free-space optical interconnect using electrothermal MEMS rotational lens scanners with zero power hold to circumvent such difficulties. Previous groups have attempted to adaptively compensate for the misalignment using MEMS devices, including feed-forward control of MEMS scanners. However, a zero power hold lens scanner has never been demonstrated.
Project end date: 08/12/10