Abstract Future high-performance computing (HPC) architectures will consist of whole parallel computing systems integrated on chip-level and boards mounted with lots of computing chips and chip-external main memory. Photonic networks on board and photonic network on chips (NoCs) offer the potential to fulfill the high bandwidth requirements in such systems. In addition they need less power, offer better EMC capabilities and can reduce cabling effort compared to electronic networks. Due to their non-blocking property Clos networks are frequently used in HPC architectures. Therefore we investigated how a photonic on-board Clos network can be realized using Coarse Wavelength-Division-Multiplexing (CWDM) techniques with state-of-the art components based on fiber technology. In addition we present a new photonic Clos NoC architecture based on Wavelength Interchanging (WI) elements, optical waveguide structures, mode-locked laser sources, nanophotonic microrings and passive optical deflection elements to reduce the number of switches. We discuss the benefits and drawbacks for using different optical technologies for such an architecture.
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