Theses Doctoral

Architectural Exploration and Design Methodologies of Photonic Interconnection Networks

Chan, Jong Wu

Photonic technology is becoming an increasingly attractive solution to the problems facing today's electronic chip-scale interconnection networks. Recent progress in silicon photonics research has enabled the demonstration of all the necessary optical building blocks for creating extremely high-bandwidth density and energy-efficient links for on- and off-chip communications. From the feasibility and architecture perspective however, photonics represents a dramatic paradigm shift from traditional electronic network designs due to fundamental differences in how electronics and photonics function and behave. As a result of these differences, new modeling and analysis methods must be employed in order to properly realize a functional photonic chip-scale interconnect design. In this work, we present a methodology for characterizing and modeling fundamental photonic building blocks which can subsequently be combined to form full photonic network architectures. We also describe a set of tools which can be utilized to assess the physical-layer and system-level performance properties of a photonic network. The models and tools are integrated in a novel open-source design and simulation environment called PhoenixSim. Next, we leverage PhoenixSim for the study of chip-scale photonic networks. We examine several photonic networks through the synergistic study of both physical-layer metrics and system-level metrics. This holistic analysis method enables us to provide deeper insight into architecture scalability since it considers insertion loss, crosstalk, and power dissipation. In addition to these novel physical-layer metrics, traditional system-level metrics of bandwidth and latency are also obtained. Lastly, we propose a novel routing architecture known as wavelength-selective spatial routing. This routing architecture is analogous to electronic virtual channels since it enables the transmission of multiple logical optical channels through a single physical plane (i.e. the waveguides). The available wavelength channels are partitioned into separate groups, and each group is routed independently in the network. Each partition is spectrally multiplexed, as opposed to temporally multiplexed in the electronic case. The wavelength-selective spatial routing technique benefits network designers by provider lower contention and increased path diversity.


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More About This Work

Academic Units
Electrical Engineering
Thesis Advisors
Bergman, Keren
Ph.D., Columbia University
Published Here
May 1, 2012