Electronic Products & Technology

COBO working group to address embedded optical waveguides in pcbs

EP&T Magazine   

Electronics embedded optical waveguides

Hirose jumps in to help lead Consortium for On-Board Optics

Hirose, an associate member of the Consortium for On-Board Optics (COBO), has helped create the Multi-Mode Waveguide Interconnect System (MWIS) Working Group to advance the increase of bandwidth and reduce power consumption for printed circuit board interconnect systems. The Consortium for On-Board Optics is a member-driven standards-setting organization developing specifications for interchangeable and interoperable optical modules that can be mounted onto printed circuit boards. Led by Joshua Kihong Kim, principal engineer at Hirose Electric, COBO’s new MWIS Working Group focuses specifically on the replacement of copper traces with multi-mode waveguides and adding an extra thin interface for Electrical/Optical and Optical/Electrical conversion within close proximity to the electrical component.

“I am very pleased to have kicked off the new Multimode Waveguide Interconnect System (MWIS) Working Group. Although embedded optical waveguides in printed circuit boards have been researched for decades, now is the time for the industry to work together to address the imminent bandwidth and power issues associated with copper interfaces,” said Joshua Kihong Kim, principal engineer at Hirose Electric and COBO MWIS Working Group Chair. “In the development of on-board optical systems, this is one of the missing pieces of the puzzle, and COBO is stepping up to develop specifications to enable an industry eco-system.”

“The growing diversity of optical applications within the Data Center, including machine learning and resource disaggregation, are driving an increased need to enhance high-speed board level interconnect systems with optical waveguide technology.  COBO members recognize it is critical for companies to collaborate and provide guidance and specifications for design advancement,” said Brad Booth, President at COBO and Principal Engineer, Azure Hardware Architecture at Microsoft. “We welcome interested parties to contact us if they would like understand more about our new MWIS Working Group.”


For more information on the COBO MWIS Working Group, visit https://www.onboardoptics.org


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