The hub of the industry and premier event in optical datacom—the2021 Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition (OFC)—celebrated groundbreaking technologies and research driving innovation in a thriving industry.
Held June 06-11, 2021, the virtual event featured a dynamic plenary session, nearly 100 invited speakers, four Symposia, three Special Sessions, ten Workshops, seven Panels, 49 Short Courses, and top-tier businesses presenting live technical showcases with industry-leading product announcements. The 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.”
“I’ve been attending OFC as an analyst for over 20 years now, but this year was extremely important as there are major disruptions going on in the industry,” said Sterling Perrin, principal analyst – optical networking and transport, Heavy Reading. “It was the place to be for the latest technologies and significant research addressing challenges in the field.”
Conference Program and Special Events
Industry luminaries Nancy Shemwell, COO, Trilogy Networks, USA; Young-Kai Chen, program manager, Microsystems Technology Office, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), USA; and Yiqun Cai, vice president, Alibaba Group, China, shared their insights on the evolution of networking, photonics and Artificial Intelligence and deployment of edge cloud for rural communities during the plenary session. Towards the end of the program, each speaker joined OFC General Chairs Jun-ichi Kani, Po Dong and Chongjin Xie, OFC Program Chair Ramon Casellas and attendees for a live audience Q&A. The session recording is available here.
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.”
Driving Business Solutions
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.
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.
OFC 2022 will be held 06 - 10 March at the San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, CA.