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1. (WO2017135931) EMBEDDED OPTICAL WAVEGUIDE
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Background

[0001] Computing systems can utilize a number of communication systems for communicating between a number of components within the computing systems. For example, components of a computing system can utilize optical fibers to communicate. In some examples, a computing system can include heat sinks, DIMMS, and other components that can physically block a straight path between components on a first side of a computing device and components on a second side of the computing device.

Brief Description of the Drawings

[0002] Figure 1 A illustrates a diagram of an example of a system for an embedded optical waveguide consistent with the present disclosure.

[0003] Figure 1 B illustrates a diagram of an example of a system for an embedded optical waveguide consistent with the present disclosure.

[0004] Figure 1 C illustrates a diagram of an example of a system for an embedded optical waveguide consistent with the present disclosure.

[0005] Figure 2 illustrates a diagram of an example of an air baffle for an embedded optical waveguide consistent with the present disclosure.

[0006] Figure 3 illustrates a diagram of an example of components for a system for an embedded optical waveguide consistent with the present disclosure.

[0007] Figure 4 illustrates a diagram of an example of components for a system for an embedded optical waveguide consistent with the present disclosure.

[0008] A number of examples for an embedded optical waveguide are described herein. In one example, a system for an embedded optical waveguide includes an air baffle comprising an optical waveguide embedded within the air baffle, a first exposed portion of the optical waveguide to receive a first optical transceiver at a first location of the air baffle, and a second exposed portion of the optical waveguide to receive a second optical transceiver at a second location of the air baffle.

[0009] in some examples, the air baffle can include a device that directs airflow across a number of components of a computing device. For example, the air baffle can include a molded polymer device that direct cool air towards a number of heat generating devices and directs warm air from the heat generating devices towards outside the computing device, in some examples, the air baffle can provide a number of cooling channels for forced air to move through the computing device. In some examples, the air baffle can be utilized to increase an efficiency of an air cooling system by directing air within the computing device. In some examples, the air baffle can be coupled to a base of the computing device and act as a portion of an enclosure for the computing device.

[0010] In some examples, the air baffle can be coupled to the base of the computing device and extend over a number of components of the computing device. For example, the air baffle can be coupled to a first end and a second end of a computing device and the air baffle can extend over a number of DiM S and/or heat sinks. In some examples, a waveguide can be embedded within the air baffle to provide a direct communication path between components on the first end of the computing device and the second end of the computing device where the air baffle is coupled to the computing device.

[0011] In some examples, a waveguide can be molded into the air baffle to provide communication between components even when a number of obstructions exist between the components. For example, a number of components of the computing

device can create a line of sight obstruction between optical transceivers. In some examples, a cladding can be utilized to cover the waveguide and provide protection from exterior elements (e.g., exterior light, dust, debris, etc.) from entering the waveguide. In some examples, the cladding can also protect the waveguide during a molding process of the waveguide.

[0012] in some examples, the waveguide can include a number of optical fibers. For example, the waveguide can include two optical fibers that can be utilized to send and receive communication signals, in this example, a first optical fiber can be utilized by an optical transceiver to transmit communication signals and a second optical fiber can be utilized by the optical transceiver to receive communication signals. In this example, the two optical fibers can be embedded within the air baffle to enable communication between two optical transceivers.

[0013] The figures herein follow a numbering convention in which the first digit corresponds to the drawing figure number and the remaining digits identify an element or component in the drawing. Elements shown in the various figures herein may be capable of being added, exchanged, and/or eliminated so as to provide a number of additional examples of the present disclosure. In addition, the proportion and the relative scale of the elements provided in the figures are intended to illustrate the examples of the present disclosure, and should not be taken in a limiting sense.

[0014] Figure 1A illustrates a diagram of an example of a system 100 for an embedded optical waveguide consistent with the present disclosure. The system 100 can be an example of a computing device with a number of components (e.g., heat sink 108, memory devices 1 10, etc.). In some examples, the computing device can utilize an air baffle 102 to provide cooling channels across the number of components, in some examples, the air baffle 102 can be coupled to a system board 109-1 , 109-2 via a number of locking mechanisms.

[0015] In some examples, the system 100 can include a number of optical transceivers 106-1 , 106-2. The number of optical transceivers 106-1 , 106-2 can be utilized to transmit and receive signals (e.g., optical signals, light signals, fiber optic signals, etc.). In some examples, the number of optical transceivers 106-1 , 106-2 can be utilized to communicate data from a first side of the system board 109-1 (e.g., first portion of the system board, etc.) to a second side of the system board 109-2 (e.g., second portion of the system board etc.). in some examples, the system 100 may not utilize electrical connectors between the first portion of the system board 109-1 and the second portion of the system board 109-2. As described further herein, the first portion of the system board 109-1 and the second portion of the system board 109-2 may be positioned in a number of different orientations without one or more stages of eiectrica! connectors to communication between the first portion of the system board 109-1 and the second portion of the system board 109-2.

[0016] !n some examples, the number of optica! transceivers 108-1 , 108-2 can be located on the system board 109-1 , 109-2 between a number of obstructions (e.g., components, heat sink 108, memory devices 1 10, etc.). The number of obstructions can prevent the system 100 from including an optical waveguide 104 along the surface of the system board 109-1 , 109-2 that couples optica! transceiver 106-1 to optica! transceiver 106-2. In one example, there is no physical space to implement an optica! waveguide 104. In another example, an optical waveguide 104 may block accessibility of components such as memory devices. Yet in another example, optical waveguides may be too fragile to be present among metal components (e.g., heat sinks, retention clips, etc.). In some examples, additional optica! transceivers can be added to different portions of the system board 109-1 , 109-2. In these examples, additional waveguides can be embedded as described herein for each pair of optical transceivers added. In some examples, the optica! waveguide 104 includes a cladding to contain optical rays within the optical waveguide 104.

[0017] in some examples, the system board 109-1 , 109-2 can comprise a first portion of a system board 109-1 and a second portion of a system board 109-1 that are separated by a space 1 1 1. In some examples, the space 1 1 1 can be a physical separation of the first portion of the system board 109-1 and the second portion of the system board 109-2. In some examples, the space 1 1 1 can be a particular distance, but the system board 109-1 , 109-2 can be physically connected throughout the particular distance of the space 1 1 1.

[0018] in some examples, the air baffle 102 can include an optical waveguide 104 that is embedded within the air baffle 102. !n some examples, the optica!

waveguide 104 can include at least two optical fibers. In some examples, a first optical fiber can be coupled to a transmitting portion of a first optical transceiver and a receiving portion of a second optical transceiver. For example, the optical waveguide 04 can include a first optical fiber coupled to a transmitting portion of optical transceiver 106-1 and coupled to a receiving portion of optical transceiver 106-2. In this example, the optical waveguide 104 can include a second optical fiber coupled to a receiving portion of optical transceiver 106-1 and coupled to a transmitting portion of optical transceiver 106-2. in this example, the optical waveguide 104 can provide communication to components coupled to the number of optical transceivers 106-1 , 106-2.

[0019] in some examples, the number of optical transceivers 106-1 , 106-2 can be vertical optical transceivers (e.g., vertically emitting lensed optical transceivers, optical transceivers that send or receive signals in a vertical direction, etc.). For example, the number of optical transceivers 106-1 , 106-2 can be aligned such that the signal is transmitted and/or received in a substantially perpendicular compared to the system board 109-1 , 109-2. For example, the number of optical transceivers 106-1 , 106-2 can be positioned to send or receive optical signals in a perpendicular or in parallel direction with respect to the system board 109-1 , 109-2. in another example, the number of optical transceivers 106-1 , 106-2 can be aligned such that the signal is transmitted and/or received substantially parallel (e.g., substantially horizontal direction, etc.) to the system board 109-1 , 109-2.

[0020] in some examples, the optical waveguide 104 can include an exposed portion to couple the optical waveguide 104 to the number of optical transceivers 106-1 , 106-2. in some examples, the exposed portion of the waveguide 104 can be coupled to the number of optical transceivers 106-1 , 106-2. In some examples, the exposed portion of the optical waveguide 104 can provide a converging point or focusing point of the optical signal. For example, the exposed portion can include an optical structure that can provide a converging point of the optical signal to optically couple with the optical waveguide 104 with minimum optical signal coupling loss.

[0021] As described further herein, the air baffle 102 can include an alignment feature and/or a locking mechanism to couple the waveguide 104 to the number of optical transceivers 106-1 , 106-2. For example, the air baffle 102 can include an

alignment feature that can correspond (e.g., receive, insert, etc.) to an alignment feature on the system board 109-1 , 109-2. In some examples the alignment feature can be utilized to align the air baffle 102 in a position to direct air through the system 100 (e.g., across the heat sink 108, through the memory resources 1 10, etc.). In some examples, the same or similar alignment feature that aligns the air baffle 102 can also be utilized to align the waveguide 104 to the number of optical transceivers 106-1 , 106-2.

[0022] The system 100 can provide an embedded optical waveguide 104 that can be utilized to provide optical communication between components, in some examples, the optical waveguide 104 can be insulated from dust when embedded into the air baffle 102. in some examples, the system 100 can be utilized at various locations of the computing device and may be located within different areas of the air baffle 102.

[0023] Figure 1 B illustrates a diagram of an example of a system 100 for an embedded optical waveguide consistent with the present disclosure. In some examples, the system 100 in Figure 1 B can include the same or similar elements as system 100 as referenced in Figure 1A. in some examples, the system 100 can include a number of DIM MS 1 10 and/or a heat sink 108 coupled to a first portion of a system board 109-1 , [0024] in some examples, the system 100 can include an air baffle 102 that is coupled to the first portion of the system board 109-1. In some examples, the air baffle 102 can be coupled to the first portion of the system board 109-1 to direct airflow across heat generating devices such as the number of D!MMs 1 10 and/or a processor positioned under the heat sink 108. In some examples, the air baffle 102 can include an embedded waveguide 104 as described herein.

[0025] in some examples, the system 100 can include a second portion of a system board 109-2. In some examples, the first portion of the system board 109-1 can be a first system board and the second portion of the system board 109-2 can be a second system board that is not electrically connected to the first system board. In some examples, the first portion of the system board 109-1 can be part of a first computing device and the second portion of the system board 109-2 can be part of a second computing device, in some examples, the first portion of the system board 109-1 can be parallel to the second portion of the system board 109-2. For example, the first portion of the system board 109-1 can be positioned to the right or left of the second portion of the system board 109-2.

[0026] In some examples, an optical transceiver 106-1 can be coupled to the first portion of the system board 109-1 and an optical transceiver 106-2 can be coupled to the second portion of the system board 109-2, In some examples, the first portion of the system board 109-1 can be separated by a barrier 1 15, In some examples, the barrier 1 15 can be a divider between the first portion of the system board 109-1 and the second portion of the system board 109-2. In some examples, the barrier 1 15 can be a metallic barrier (e.g., aluminum barrier, etc.) that can physically separate the first portion of the system board 109-1 and the second portion of the system board 109-2.

[0027] in some examples, the air baffle 102 can be positioned over the first portion of the system board 109-1 and the second portion of the system board 109-2. In some examples, the air baffle 102 can be positioned to direct airflow for the first portion of the system board 109-1 and for the second portion of the system board 109-2.

[0028] Figure 1 C illustrates a diagram of an example of a system 100 for an embedded optical waveguide consistent with the present disclosure. In some examples, the system 100 in Figure 1 C can include the same or similar elements as system 100 as referenced in Figure 1A and system 100 as referenced in Figure 1 B.

[0029] in some examples, the system 100 can include a number of D!MMS 1 10 and/or a heat sink 108 coupled to a first portion of a system board 109-1. in some examples, the system can inciude a first portion of a system board 109-1 and a second portion of a system board 109-2. In some examples, the first portion of a system board 109-1 can be a first system board and the second portion of the system board 109-2 can be a second system board.

[0030] In some examples, the first portion of the system board 109-1 can be positioned next to the second portion of the system board 109-2. In some examples, the first portion of the system board 109-1 can be positioned to the left or right of the second portion of the system board 109-2. In some examples, the first portion of the system board 109-1 can be positioned in a first orientation and the second portion of the system board 109-2 can be positioned in a second orientation that is different than the first orientation.

[0031] in some examples, the first portion of the system board 09-1 can be positioned in a substantially perpendicular position to the second portion of the system board 109-2. In some examples, the first portion of the system board 109-1 can be separated by space (e.g., space 1 1 1 , etc.) between the second portion of the system board 109-2. in some examples, the space can physicaily separate the first portion of the system board 109-1 and the second portion of the system board 109-2. !n some examples, the first portion of the system board 109-1 and the second portion of the system board 109-2 may not be connected by electrical connections, in some examples, Figures 1A, 1 B, and/or 1 C can illustrate a single layer of optical waveguide 104. In some examples, the air baffle 102 may consist of multiple layers of optical waveguides 104 (not shown).

[0032] Figure 2 illustrates a diagram of an example of an air baffie 202 for an embedded optical waveguide consistent with the present disclosure. In some examples, the air baffie 202 can be the same or similar as air baffie 102 as referenced in Figure 1 . For example, the air baffle 202 can be utilized to provide cooling channels 203-1 , 203-2 and/or direct air flow throughout a computing system (e.g., system 100 as referenced in Figure 1 , server blade, etc.). In some examples, the cooling channels 203-1 , 203-2 can be utilized to bring in cool air and remove warm air from a computing system.

[0033] in some examples, the air baffle 202 can comprise a polymer material (e.g., plastic material, molded polymer material, etc.). For example, the air baffle 202 can be a molded polymer air baffle that can include an embedded optical waveguide 204-1 that is molded into the polymer.

[0034] in some examples, the optical waveguide 204-1 can include a number of optical fibers that can be utilized by a number of optical transceivers (e.g., optical transceivers 106-1 , 106-2 as referenced in Figure 1 , etc.). In some examples the optical waveguide 204-1 can include an exposed portion 204-2 that can be coupled to the number of optical transceivers. As described herein, the exposed portion 204-2 can provide a converging point of a signal provided by the number of transceivers. For example, the exposed portion 204-2 can include an optical structure that can provide a converging point of the optical signal to optically couple with the optical waveguide 204-1 with minimum optical signal coupling loss.

[0035] in some examples, the optical waveguide 240-1 and exposed portion 204-2 can be positioned based on a number of features (e.g., location of components to communicate, iocation of optical transceivers, location of heat caused by computing components, etc.). The optical waveguide 204-1 and the exposed portion 204-2 can be located between a front side and a back side of the air baffle 202. in some examples, the optical waveguide 204-1 and the exposed portion 204-2 can be positioned substantially the same distance between the front side and the back side of the air baffle 202. in some examples, the optical waveguide 204-1 and the exposed portion 204-2 can be positioned relatively closer to the front or relatively closer to the back of the air baffle 202.

[0036] in some examples, the optical waveguide 204-1 can be positioned to couple the exposed portion 204-2 to a number of optical transceivers located at a number of different positions on a system board of a computing device. For example, a first optical transceiver can be located on a first side of a system board aligned with the exposed portion 204-2 on an edge of the air baffle 202 and a second optical transceiver can be located on a second side of the system board aligned with a corresponding exposed portion on the edge of the air baffle 202. As described herein, a plurality of waveguides can be utilized in addition to the optical waveguide 204-1. in some examples, there can be a corresponding waveguide for each pair of transceivers (e.g., transceivers 106-1 , 106-2, etc.).

[0037] Figure 3 illustrates a diagram of an example of components for a system for an embedded optical waveguide consistent with the present disclosure, in some examples, the components can include an air baffle portion 302, an optical transceiver system 330, and an optical waveguide cross section 320.

[0038] In some examples, the air baffle as described herein can include an air baffle portion 302. In some examples, the air baffle portion 302 can be located at an edge of the air baffle as described herein. The air baffle portion 302 can include an optical waveguide 304. In some examples, the optical waveguide 304 can include a transmitting portion 304-1 , and a receiving portion 304-2 corresponding to a particular optical transceiver. For example, the exposed portions of the waveguide 304 can be coupled to an optical transceiver 306. In this example, the other end of the transmitting portion 304-1 can be coupled to a transmitting portion 332 of the optical transceiver 306 and the receiving portion 304-2 can be coupled to the receiving portion 334 of the optical transceiver 306. In this example, the transmitting portion 304-1 can be coupled to a receiving portion of a different optical transceiver and the other end of the receiving portion 304-2 can be coupled to a transmitting portion of the different optical transceiver,

[0039] As described herein, the waveguide 304 can include a fiber optic core 314, in some examples, the fiber optic core 314 can be utilized to transmit signals between a number of optical transceivers as described herein, in some examples, the fiber optic core 314 can be encased by a cladding material 312. In some examples, the fiber optic core 314 can be a polymer material (e.g., Polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), etc.) that runs along the length of the waveguide. The fiber optic core 314 can be surrounded by a medium with a relatively lower index of refraction, typically a cladding material 312 of a different polymer material (e.g., fluoropoiymer, etc.). Light travelling in the fiber optic core 314 reflects from the cladding material 312 boundary due to total internal reflection, as long as the angle between the light and the boundary is less than a critical angle.

[0040] in some examples, the exposed portion of the waveguide 304 can provide a converging point of a signal provided by the number of transceivers. For example, the exposed portion of the fiber optic core 314 can include an optical structure 324 that can provide a converging point of optical signal 326 within the fiber optic core 314. The opticai structure 324 is shown in the optical waveguide cross section 320. The optical waveguide cross section 320 can be a side view if the waveguide 304-2 were cut along 316.

[0041] in some examples, the optical waveguide cross section 320 can include a portion of the air baffle 302, the cladding material 312, the fiber optic core 314, and/or the optical structure 324. In some examples, the optical structure 324 is an optical lens. In some examples, the optical structure 324 can comprise a material that has the same or similar refractive index as the fiber optic core 314. In some examples, the optical structure 324 can extend past the cladding material 312 and/or the air baffle 302 to provide an exposed portion that can be mechanically and optically coupled to the transceiver 306. For example, the optical structure 324 can extend past the cladding

material 312 and/or the air baffle 302 such that the optical structure 324 can be inserted into a groove (e.g., transmitting portion 332, receiving portion 334, etc.) of the transceiver 306.

[0042] In some examples, the optical structure 324 can receive an optical signal 322 from a transmitting portion 332 of the optical transceiver 306. in some examples the optical signal 322 can be sent and received by an optical transceiver 306. The optical structure 324 can be formed such that the received optical signal 322 can be converged within the fiber optic core 314.

[0043] Figure 4 illustrates a diagram of an example of waveguide shapes for a system for an embedded optical waveguide consistent with the present disclosure, in some examples, the waveguide shapes can represented by a view of the exposed portions of the waveguide as described herein, in some examples, the exposed portion of the waveguide can include a fiber optic core 414-1 , 414-2 covered by a cladding material 412-1 , 412-2.

[0044] in some examples, the optical waveguide as described herein can include an exposed portion with a fiber optic core 414-1 and a corresponding cladding material 412-1. in this example the shape of the exposed portion of the optical waveguide can be substantially rectangular, in these examples, the fiber optic core 414-1 and

corresponding cladding material 412-1 can be formed with an overmoiding process. As used herein, an overmoiding process can include adding a number of additional material layers to an existing layer of material.

[004SJ in some examples, the optical waveguide as described herein can include an exposed portion with a fiber optic core 414-2 with corresponding cladding material 412-2. In these examples, the fiber optic core 414-2 and corresponding cladding material 4 2-2 can be shaped in a substantially oblong or circular shape, in some examples, the fiber optic core 414-2 and corresponding cladding material 412-2 can include an angle 413. In some examples, the angle 413 can be between approximately 1 degrees and 5 degrees. In some examples, the fiber optic core 414-2 and

corresponding cladding material 412-2 can be formed with an overmoiding process as described herein.

[0046] As used herein, "a" or "a number of something can refer to one or more such things. For example, "a number of widgets" can refer to one or more widgets. The above specification, examples and data provide a description of the method and applications, and use of the system and method of the present disclosure. Since many examples can be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the system and method of the present disclosure, this specification merely sets forth some of the many possible example configurations and implementations.