Opportunities and Challenges for Photonics in Next-Generation Data Centers

Oct 22, 2015  |  4:00pm | ESB 1001
Clint Schow
Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering, UC Santa Barbara

Data centers are driving the development of next-generation photonic technologies with the promise of higher performance at lower cost. Worldwide research encompasses multi- and single-mode links, all-photonic switching and routing technologies, and hybrid networks combining electrical and optical switching. 

This talk will provide background on the current role of optical interconnects in data centers and will highlight opportunities for photonics to dramatically improve the connectivity and performance of future installations.  Integration of large-scale photonics with electronics in next generation multi-chip modules will be required, which raises a host of challenges and risks that provide fertile ground for research and innovation.

BiographyClint L. Schow received B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin. In 1999, Dr. Schow joined IBM in Rochester, MN, assuming responsibility for the receivers used in IBM’s optical transceiver business. From 2001 to 2004, he was with Agility Communications in Santa Barbara, CA, developing high-speed optoelectronic modulators and tunable laser sources. In 2004, Dr. Schow joined the IBM T.J. Watson Research Center as a Research Staff Member where he conceived and designed generations of VCSEL-based links and parallel optical transceivers that set records for power efficiency, data rate, and bandwidth density. He was a primary contributor to IBM’s monolithic Si photonic/CMOS co-design efforts and led the circuit designs for the first generation of transceivers and photonic switch chips. Dr. Schow was most recently the Manager of the Optical Link and System Design group responsible for optics in future generations of high performance computers and datacenters. He has led numerous cross-department, multi-site joint R&D projects involving extensive internal, external, and international collaborations. As PI for multiple DARPA-sponsored programs, Dr. Schow has directed investigations into chip-to-chip optical links, nanophotonic switches, and new system architectures based on low-latency photonic switching fabrics. Dr. Schow is now a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC Santa Barbara. He is a Senior Member of the OSA and the IEEE, has published more than 140 journal and conference articles, and has fourteen issued and more than fifteen pending patents.


Event Slides

Event TypeSeminar