EOCB Electro-Optical Circuit Board enable compact and power efficient future data communication systems For board-to-board or even chip-to-chip optical interconnects.

Core of the overall concept is the realization of three-dimensional optical routing on board level using electrical-optical circuit boards (EOCB) in combination with electro-optical transceivers. Optical signal transmission allows high-performance products with significantly improved performance, reliability, lower costs and higher energy efficiency.

The goal of the ongoing development is the integration of optical transmission paths into the printed circuit board (PCB), creating a hybrid electrical-optical PCB. Future bandwidth needs forces the development of optical integrated waveguides on board level. Our development focuses on industrial manufacturing technologies for micro-optic integration, patterning and lamination of glass. Already established methods in micro system technology support new approaches. For thin glass embedding into the printed circuit board relies on proven industrial processes of PCB industry. The required equipment already exists. An ion exchange technology performs The manufacturing process for optical waveguide integration into the thin glass. Our work also involves the development of optical coupling interfaces between EOCB, electro-optical transceivers and fiber cables.

EOCB Electro-Optical Circuit Board BY FRAUNHOFER IZM

The integration of waveguides in glass uses a two step ion- exchange technology:
The metal layer on the glass gets structure via photolithography using laser direct imaging. Then, The masked glass is dipped into a molten salt containing silver ions which create a gradient index profile. After removing the mask, a reverse ion-exchange buries the waveguides inside the glass. These gradient index waveguides show low propagation losses on a wide wavelength spectrum and low coupling losses to optical fibers. Finally, a CO2-laser creates the desired size and cavities or optical interfaces.


It’s an understatement to say that a lot has changed in microelectronics in the last fifty years – and the same goes for circuit boards.  But even greater changes are afoot: with ever more data being used and shared, electrical…