Optical InterLinks Executive Summary (November 2015)

Optical Interconnections and the Polymer Waveguide Solution.

Optical interconnections now dominate data communications with extensive optical fiber links in worldwide telecommunication networks. Optical fiber interconnectivity is rapidly moving into high speed computer backplanes, data centers, industrial, military, and consumer applications. Significant efforts are underway to develop integrated photonic chips where optical waveguides are in the silicon signal process and transceiver chips. Drivers are the increasing circuit density and data rates from the current 10Gbps with developments underway for up to 40 and 100 Gbps. Optical interconnectivity is aimed at reduction of problems associated with high speed and increasingly dense electronic interconnects such as electro-magnetic interference crosstalk, power consumption and related thermal issues, plus accelerating costs.

Increasingly efforts are underway with many groups to explore and adopt polymer waveguide technology for short range optical interconnections. The goal is to reduce or eliminate many of the problems noted above by utilizing polymer waveguides providing a cost effective alternative with performance and manufacturing advantages. With the coming “Internet of Things” (IoT) data gathering and transmission, storage, and sensing is expected to explode the need for optical connectivity and for utilizing integrated photonic chips. Development of the latter has been road mapped by MIT’s Microphotonic Center consortium. Polymer waveguides offer unique advantages for interconnectivity for these short range applications as well as sensing, and cost effective manufacturability.

Opportunity for Polymer Waveguide Optical Interconnection Applications

Versatile, configurable polymer waveguide (PWG) capabilities with a broad range of applicability have the potential to provide the needed interconnectivity between photonic chips, within daughter boards through the backplane and to/from off board optical fibers at the board edge. In addition using PWG splitters, network monitoring taps in data centers are thought to offer a more compact, high performance and manufacturable alternative than a fiber based system. In general PWG are expected to be enabling for high speed computing systems and data center applications. PWG have the potential for point to point links as well as diverse functionality with demonstrated splitter/combiners, stand-alone TxRx components, and sensors for non-electronic environments and for optical bio sensing.

Several international consortiums are addressing the current interest to define the status, potential, and maturity for cost effective manufacturable polymer waveguide technology solutions for board level optical interconnectivity. For example two consortiums, High Density Packaging User Group (HDP), and PhoxTroT (Europe), have large numbers of participating companies. Optical InterLinks is a participant and contributor of polymer waveguide links for these groups. HDP project leaders have stated that Optical InterLinks is one of the leading contributors of polymer waveguides links and connectivity for these prototype board level interconnection demonstrations. Additionally Optical InterLinks has delivered to customers up to 100’s of multimode prototypes for splitter/combiners, TxRx components, data monitoring taps having 8 to 20 network channels, and optical and bio-sensors. As a result our GuideLink™ technology is recognized as having a broad range of capability and is considered by many to have the highest potential for cost effective manufacturability.

Optical InterLinks Polymer Waveguide Technology’s Competitive Advantage

Optical InterLinks circuit board and data communication applications are believed to have market opportunities for board level and data center monitoring applications. The breadth and maturity of our PWG capabilities is demonstrated as noted by delivery to customers of wavelength combiners, sensors for military / aerospace, and bio-sensor applications, in addition to board level links. OIL’s competitive strengths are derived from our versatile, self-development waveguide process as opposed to conventional etching, molding or embossing techniques utilized by others that are described elsewhere. OIL’s manufacturability potential results from the use of our proprietary polymer material formulations that are pre-coated on large rolls of temporary film supports with nearly a year shelf life before exposure. OIL’s technology advantage also depends on light induced photomask imaged monomer-in-diffusion to form waveguides in a self-development process. Our multi-monomer formulations can be easily modified to alter and enhance waveguide properties. Flexible self-supporting film sheets with embedded waveguides facilitate laser micromachining of large numbers of components for diverse connectorization options. Many of our unique waveguide capabilities result from highly resolved smooth side walls, imagable low index internal deflecting structures, and extremely sharp splitting junctions. Both single mode and multimode waveguide devices and links have been created as reported in the literature.

Optical InterLinks Current and Envisioned Business Approach

Optical InterLinks was formed from an asset buy out in 2006 and is a limited liability company Martra LLC doing business as Optical InterLinks LLC. Since 2006 OIL has relied on generating revenue from increasing PWG and fiber optic product orders with numerous customers with the hope of evolving increased sufficient cash flow from progressive pilot manufacturing scale up to increase our business opportunity and generate funds internally to grow. Sufficient cash flow has not materialized.

Path Forward Critical Issue:

At this juncture OIL has concluded that to grow and capitalize on our unique waveguide formation technology we must have additional resources from a buyout driven investment and new management. The goal is to provide a home for the technology for nurturing, product development and sales. To achieve this we need essential critical mass of technical personnel, equipment, and marketing expertise to successfully exploit the technology’s unique capabilities

Optical InterLinks (OIL) Current Team

Thomas Musser, Founder /owner &Tri-M Bd Chairman; CEO & majority owner Martra, LLC d/b/a OIL

Finances handled under contract with Tri-M by Tri-M’s CFO

Dr. Bruce L. Booth, President, Founder and CTO. of  OXL/OIL; physics PhD;- DuPont 31 yrs; Optical CrossLinks (OXL) 8 yrs , OIL 9 yrs, invented PolyGuide™/ GuideLink™ PWG technology; see pub.list

Robert Furmanak, Product Engineer; elect. instrum., optical meas.-OIL; DuPont 15 yrs.; OXL 8 yrs., OIL 9 yrs.;  OIL Resp. for lab automation and analysis software, product design innovator, manf. assembly

Kevin Hair, Operations Manager-OIL; DuPont 15 yrs. exp w/ PM roles/process dev. and  sm lot manuf.; OIL/OXL 15 yrs., PM, photomask/product pkg design, CAD & micromachining/ (add & sub) / manuf.

Douglas Graham, Process Engineer-OIL; Dupont 32 yrs. elect. instrum., X-ray diff. & NMR; and PWG; DMS SOMOS 3 yrs. rapid prototyping; Hercules/Ashland 13 yrs., specialty chemicals for paper/pulp industry.; exp at OXL/OIL 15yrs. PWG exposure/processing; clean  room operations manager.

Dr. Rolf Dessauer, Organic Chemist PhD; Photo Chemist consultant for OIL/OXL; DuPont 39yr.,Consultant 20 yr. for DuPont, HP, Polaroid, Hampford Res. etc., and OIL; invented photoinitiator HABI (used in OIL products) and imaging systems, authored many articles/ edited  HABI ref. text book

Steve W. Lucas, Patent/Contract consultant OIL 16 yrs., MSEE, DuPont 36yrs. Reg. pat agent USPTO

Other: Technicians and outside collaborating suppliers and photo machining vendors