Wednesday, September 7, 2022

Molex intros optical-electrical interconnects for Co-Packaged Optics

Molex introduced its pluggable module solution for co-packaged optics (CPO), which moves optical connections from the front panel to within the host system—right next to high-speed ICs.

The new External Laser Source Interconnect System (ELSIS) is a complete system of cage, optical and electrical connectors with a pluggable module.

"From high-speed networking chips to graphics processing units (GPUs) and AI engines, the demand for I/O bandwidth continues to escalate," said Tom Marrapode, director of advanced technology development, Molex Optical Solutions. "By placing the optics closer to these ASICs, CPO will address the growing complexities associated with high-speed electrical traces, including signal integrity, density and power consumption."

Molex notes that traditional pluggable modules have their optical connections at the user side of the module, creating concerns about eye safety when used with high-power laser sources, such as those planned for CPO. As a blind-mating solution, ELSIS eliminates user access to optical fiber ports and cables, providing a complete external laser source system for safe, easy implementation and maintenance. The use of external laser sources also means a major heat source is moved away from the optoelectronics and IC package. Plus, the design eliminates high-speed electrical I/O drivers on the IC and in pluggable modules, further reducing thermal loads and power consumption within the equipment.

Molex is currently sampling the ELSIS hybrid optical electrical connector and cage system. Supporting design and development materials for the fully pluggable module system, including 3D models, technical drawings and detailed specifications, are available now. Molex is targeting Q3 2023 for release of the fully integrated solution.