||D. A. B. Miller, "Physical Reasons for
Optical Interconnection," Special Issue on Smart Pixels, Intl J.
Optoelectronics 11 (3), 155-168 (1997).
There are many physical reasons
for using optics for interconnection within otherwise electronic information processing
machines. These reasons are summarized and categorized based on the fundamental physical
differences of the higher frequency, shorter wavelength, and larger photon energy of
optics compared with electrical interconnections. Optics arguably solves or mitigates most
of the physical problems that limit electrical interconnections, such as signal and clock
distortion, skew and attenuation, impedance matching, cross-talk, power dissipation, wave
reflection phenomena, interconnect density limitations, and voltage isolation. Optics also
creates radical opportunities that have no analogue in existing electrical
interconnections, such as free-space parallel interconnections, wavelength-division
multiplexing, and the use of short optical pulses for timing and improved interconnect
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