CS6458: Systems for programmable optical interconnects

In this course, we will develop an understanding for data transmission using light. We will take a systems approach to the task at hand: we will look at how various optical and electrical components interact to achieve data transmission at three scales of optical interconnects: (1) long-haul optical interconnects, (2) datacenter optical interconnects and (3) server-scale optical interconnects. This categorization of optical interconnects based on their geographical size or scale will reflect in the organization of the course materials. We will start by studying programmability of long-haul interconnects, commonly known as wide-area networks. Next, we will study the role of programmable optics in datacenter interconnects. Finally, we will understand how advances in silicon photonics are making programmable interconnects available at server-scale.

Logistics of the course

There are two lectures per week. Typically, on the first lecture of the week, I (instructor) will cover fundamental concepts that we need to carry on the discussion. Then, the second lecture of the week will involve paper reading and presentations. Your participation in paper discussions is important. Look for announcements and schedule for further details.

Grading Policy

There are no exams in this class. Paper summaries and in-class participation in paper discussions accounts for 50% of the grade. Final group or solo project accounts for the remaining 50%.