The premier event in optical telecom—the 2021 Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition (OFC) concluded last week. The virtual event drew over 6,500 registrants from 83 countries.
“OFC 2021 saw technology announcements and technical presentations spanning the optical communications ecosystem, including advancements in optoelectronic devices, packaging and digital signal processing that are all rapidly evolving to achieve 800G and beyond, as well as those in architectures and algorithms towards more intelligent optical networking,” said Jun-ichi Kani, OFC General Chair, NTT, Japan. “OFC is the only event where attendees can access the full spectrum of trends shaping the industry and the way we connect across the globe.”
Speakers presented breakthroughs in many areas, including 400/ZR+, 800G, co-packaged optics, embedded optics, next-gen optical access, silicon photonics, space-division multiplexing, data center networks, automation and intelligence in networks and more. Sessions on quantum science and technologies, sensor applications and free space optics appealed to a large audience and enriched the OFC experience. Recorded sessions are available to registrants as on-demand content for 60 days following the close of the event.
“OFC is the go-to event for the optics industry,” said Jimmy Yu, vice president, Dell’Oro Group. “From the thought-provoking panel discussions to the product announcements, OFC has always been the place where I learn about emerging technologies.”
Technology experts from global leaders II-VI, Broadcom, Ciena, Cisco, Corning, Innolight, Intel, Juniper Networks, Lumentum, NeoPhotonics, Nokia and Ribbon discussed developments in hardware and software-based networking solutions in daily briefings with leading analysts, Sterling Perrin, Heavy Reading; Ian Redpath, OMDIA; Andrew Schmitt, Cignal AI; Jimmy Yu, Dell’Oro Group and Vladimir Kozlov, LightCounting. The videos can be viewed here.
The TIP sub-group said multi-vendor integration and services operations “were achieved through open standard models and APIs supported by the Optical SDN Controller, including Transport-API, OpenConfig and Open REST.”
“This proof of concept is an important milestone in the journey to fully open and disaggregated optical networking. It offers new levels of visibility and a way to manage the entire multi-vendor environment,” commented Christoph Glingener, CTO at ADVA.
Technology Showcases from 3M, AIM Photonics, Corning, EFFECT Photonics, Infinera, Jabil, Juniper Networks, Keysight Technologies, Lumentum, Luna Innovations, Murata, Nokia, Pi, Renesas, Ribbon, Samtec, Sicoya, Synopsys, Tektronix, Telescent and Xilinx gave deep dives into their cutting-edge products.
OFC 2021 exhibitor news announcements are posted to the OFC Newsroom.
Innovations in Optics
Leading researchers from around the world presented technical peer-reviewed papers, including:
- Trans-Atlantic Real-Time Field Trial Using Super-Gaussian Constellation-Shaping to Enable 30 Tb/s+ Capacity — A team of researchers from Infinera Corporation, USA and Facebook demonstrated a record-breaking transatlantic transmission across MAREA.
- A Latency-Aware Real-Time Video Surveillance Demo: Network Slicing for Improving Public Safety — Researchers presented a latency-aware optical metro network having sophisticated monitoring and data analytics capabilities and discussed the network architecture and enabling technologies, as well as a video surveillance case of the system.
- Demonstration of 100Gbit/s Real-Time Ultra High Definition Video Transmission Over Free Space Optical Communication Links — A team of researchers discussed how they achieved real-time FSO transmission of an ultrahigh-definition video stream between two buildings in Beijing.
- 224-Gb/s PAM4 Uncooled Operation of Lumped-electrode EA-DFB Lasers with 2-km Transmission for 800GbE Application — Researchers at Lumentum showed how they developed an optical solution that uses four 200 Gbps wavelength lanes to reach 800 GbE.
Post Deadline Papers looked to the future with developments in high-speed individual LEDs, modulated lasers, record low loss in hollow core fibers for applications in power delivery and sensing and other topic areas important to industry.
Analysts also revealed their recent findings around the sector to coincide with the event. For instance, Cignal AI suggested there have been strong gains in switching and routing spending by operators in the first quarter of the year, but these were offset by the slightly weaker deployment of optical transport gear.
Scott Wilkinson, lead analyst for transport hardware at Cignal AI, noted that “Chinese spending on optical hardware has plateaued as major 5G network builds mature and new projects have not been initiated.” He added that the country’s “extraordinary growth during 2015 to 2018 could not continue long term due to the impracticality of expanding upon the enormous amounts that had been spent in the region.”
In general, analysts reported subdued activity by Chinese operators across all product categories after last year’s strong growth, while most other territories showed a rebound this quarter.
OFC 2022 will be held 06 – 10 March at the San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA.
For more information contact: [email protected]