Optical network technologies for HPC: Computer-architects point of view

Michihiro Koibuchi, Ikki Fujiwara, Kiyo Ishii, Shu Namiki, Fabien Chaix, Hiroki Matsutani, Hideharu Amano, Tomohiro Kudoh

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Optical network technologies, such as circuit switching, wave-length division multiplex and silicon photonics, have been considered for high-performance computing (HPC) systems to achieve low communication latency, high link bandwidth and low power consumption. However, conventional HPC systems still use packet networks with electric switches. Only active optical cables for inter-cabinet long links are borrowed from optical network technologies. This paper firstly reviews the gap between the conventional HPC networks and feasible optical network technologies. We explain our pessimism that this gap will continue to exist by the beginning of the post-Moore era, i.e. 2025–2030. It secondly illustrates our research vision that HPC networks will be able to adopt optical circuit switching, possibly using free-space optics in the post-Moore era.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20152007
JournalIEICE Electronics Express
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Mar 25


  • Circuit switching
  • Free-space optics
  • High-performance computing
  • Network topology
  • Optical interconnection networks

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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