The Challenge: With processor chip size fragmentation having already reached its limits in trying to accommodate more cores, efforts for improving cost- and energy-efficiency in extreme-parallel computing are focusing on the next-level of hierarchy: chip-to-chip communication in server-board and intra-rack designs forms currently the hot-spot of high-end servers industry towards reducing physical space, network complexity and resources (switches and cables), while enabling higher performance per Watt. The new server-board roadmap seeks eagerly for solutions that can bring more and more processors on the same board in order to increase performance at a reduced cost and energy envelope, allowing at the same time for almost linear reductions in physical space requirements and linear increases in throughput densities.

Mission Statement: This is where ICT-STREAMS steps in, aiming to develop a radically new optical technology for direct chip-to-chip, board level interconnection paradigm that overcomes the current limitations of server-board designs. ICT-STREAMS targets the deployment of a holistic mid-board transceiver and router device portfolio exploiting silicon photonic technologies and introducing WDM both as a capacity-enhancing as well as a low-energy routing mechanism. It aims to deliver a 1.6 Tb/s mid-board transceiver together with a 25.6 Tb/s-throughput mid-board routing engine onto the same electro-optic PCB, releasing a point-to-point-linked 16-socket server board, increasing server-board density and throughput by >400% and 1600% respectively, with 10 fold reduced energy consumption.