Parallel Computing with “Intelligent Optical Networks”

  • Ted H. Szymanski
Part of the The Springer International Series in Engineering and Computer Science book series (SECS, volume 468)


Parallel computing on a class of networks called “Intelligent Optical Networks” is examined. Traditional All-Optical and Passive-Optical networks have very limited abilities to process data in the all-optical layer. In contrast, we propose the concept of an “Intelligent Optical Network”, which has the ability to process and buffer vast amounts of data within the optoelectronic layer. Intelligent Optical Networks are can be realized with CMOS substrates with optical I/O which have been flip-chip bonded over the surface. This technology has the potential for thousands of optical I/O per substrate, and supports rapid and transparent conversion of parallel bits between the electrical and optical domains. The design of an Intelligent Optical Network for a Network-of-Workstations (NOW) is described. Each workstation has a parallel fiber ribbon optical datalink to a centralized switching core, implemented on a single optoelectronic CMOS integrated circuit. A centralized integrated circuit inter-connecting 32 fiber ribbons, each with 32 fibers clocked at 1 GHz, would support an aggregate bandwidth of 1 Tb/s. The switching is based on a conventional “Broadcast-and-Select” architecture. We consider the impact of an Intelligent Optical Network on the parallel computing of Butterfly-based algorithms. It is shown that a multi-dimensional NOW with DSP coprocessors can sustain performances in the 100 TeraFLOP per second range for Butterfly-based scientific algorithms. This class of interconnects thus represents one viable approach to achieve the US Accelerated Strategic Computing Initiative computing targets of 100 TeraFLOP machines by the year 2004.


Shared Memory Clock Cycle Digital Signal Processor Optical Interconnection Vertical Cavity Surface Emit Laser 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ted H. Szymanski
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Electrical EngineeringMcGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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