Current and future programs of near-Earth and deep space exploration performed by NASA and Department of Defense require the development of reconfigurable, high-speed intra-satellite interconnect systems based on switching fabric active backplane architecture with high-speed serial interfaces. Electrical and/or optical transponders operating with Space Wire, Fire Wire, or Gigabit Ethernet protocols are required to support the associated data interconnects. The systems must be easily upgradeable, power-efficient, fault-tolerant, EMI-protected, and capable to operate effectively for long periods of time in harsh environmental conditions including radiation effects. To address the described needs, Advanced Science and Novel Technology Company proposes to develop a basic concept of the novel, optical, radiation-tolerant transponder, which will be implemented as a hermetically-sealed pigtailed multi-chip module with an FPGA-friendly parallel interface and will feature an improved radiation tolerance, high data rate, low power consumption, and advanced functionality. The transponder will utilize the company's patent-pending current-mode logic library of radiation-hardened-by-architecture cells. 8B10B encoding will be used to achieve data disparity equal to 0 and perform a reliable clock recovery. The encoder and decoder will utilize the company's patented half-rate architecture that improves radiation tolerance. The proposed characteristics will be achieved by utilization of an advanced SiGe BiCMOS technology.