Embedded Signal Processing Using Free-Space Optical Hypercube Interconnects
Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift, 2003

The speed and complexity of integrated circuits are increasing rapidly. For instance, today's mainstream processors have already surpassed gigahertz global clock frequencies on-chip. As a consequence, many algorithms proposed for applications in embedded signal-processing (ESP) systems, e.g. radar and sonar systems, can be implemented with a reasonable number (less than 1000) of processors, at least in terms of computational power. An extreme inter-processor network is required, however, to completely implement those algorithms. The demands are such that completely new interconnection architectures must be considered. In the search for new architectures, developers of parallel computer systems can actually take advantage of optical interconnects. The main reason for introducing optics from a system point of view is the strength in using benefits that enable new architecture concepts, e.g. free-space propagation and easy fan-out, together with benefits that can actually be exploited by simply replacing the electrical links with optical ones without changing the architecture, e.g. high bandwidth and complete galvanic isolation. In this paper, we propose a system suitable for embedded signal processing with extreme performance demands. The system consists of several computational modules that work independently and send data simultaneously in order to achieve high throughput. Each computational module is composed of multiple processors connected in a hypercube topology to meet scalability and high bisection bandwidth requirements. Free-space optical interconnects and planar packaging technology make it possible to arrange the hypercubes as planes with an associated three-dimensional communications space and to take advantage of many optical properties. For instance, optical fan-out reduces hardware cost. Altogether, this makes the system capable of meeting high performance demands in, for example, massively parallel signal processing. One 64-channel airborne radar system with nine computational modules and a sustained computational speed of more than 1.6 Tera floating point operations per second (TFLOPS) is presented. The effective inter-module bandwidth in this configuration is 1 024 Gbit/s.

Embedded Signal Processing


optical interconnects

embedded signal processing

hypercube topology

free-space optics


Håkan Forsberg

Chalmers, Institutionen för datorteknik

M. Jonsson

B. Svensson

Optical Networks Magazine

1572-8161 (ISSN)

Vol. 4 4 35-49



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