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Terahertz Photonics' Truemode Backplane polymer enables high-speed optical interconnections in high-performance switch systems

July 12, 2002

2 Min Read

LIVINGSTON, U.K. -- Terahertz Photonics, the leading developer of groundbreaking materials and processes for optical communications, has revealed its latest polymer, TRUEMODE BACKPLANE, designed to meet the demands of the emerging optical backplane market. Developed from its TRUEMODE optical polymer family for telecom components, this new polymer uniquely enables high-speed optical interconnections within high performance computer and switch systems.This latest innovation is set to enable Terahertz to address the need for increased backpanel bandwidth with the only waveguide material that has low loss temperature stability and photosensitivity. This combination of properties means that the polymer has both high optical performance and is also compatible with the techniques employed to manufacture electrical printed circuit boards.Commenting on the polymer development, Dr Frank Tooley, Chief Technology Officer at Terahertz Photonics, said, “It was a natural progression to extend the use of our TRUEMODE polymer to backplane applications. Major players in the high end PCB expressed interest and we saw that we could be the first to market with a waveguide material that truly does what is required.”Research over a number of years has clarified the challenges that face the fabrication of optical backplanes. Critical amongst these is that waveguides must be optically written as the boards are around 1 metre square in dimensionin size. This requires a photosensitive waveguide material. In addition, waveguides must withstand high temperatures of around 280ooC that occur in the solder reflow process in PCB manufacture. Finally, the efficiency of the waveguides in transmitting light must be very high to ensure good overall system performance. The new TRUEMODE BACKPLANE polymer is the first optical material that meets all of these requirements.Dr Tooley continued, “The first optical backplanes to be widely adopted will have a combination of electrical tracks and optical waveguides. Telecom and Datacom systems designers will be excited not only by the extra speed of optics but also when they by the design freedom it provides to take backplanes forward.”Terahertz Photonics Ltd.

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