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OFC 2024 to showcase high-speed optical networking and interoperability

20 Mar 2024

Communications hot topics include 800G, OpenZR+ optics, boosting energy-efficiency, and quantum networking.

A wave of optical innovation is scheduled to hit California as the Optical Fiber Communications Conference and Exhibition (OFC 2024) gears up to showcase the latest breakthroughs in optical communications and networking.

OFC will take place at the San Diego Convention Center from 24 to 28 March, drawing industry leaders, experts, academia, media, analysts and students from around the world to explore the latest in optical technology.

Advances in industrial technologies, as well as research in 800ZR, Coherent PON, Linear Pluggable Optics, multicore fiber, AI and the data center and quantum networking are among the optical technologies that will be showcased on the exhibition floor and during educational and technical sessions during the premier conference and exhibition. The exhibition runs 26 to 28 March.

Leading the charge in discussions is Berkeley, California’s own Inder Monga one of OFC’s plenary speakers with his talk “Networking Alchemy: Transforming Science Through Connectivity.”

Monga, based in the heart of California's innovation hub, directs the Scientific Networking Division at Berkeley Lab and serves as the Executive Director for Energy Sciences Network, powering the future of high-performance networking. Other speakers in the plenary program are Anita Döhler, CEO, NGMN Alliance and David Richardson, Partner Researcher, Microsoft.

Exhibition highlights

More than 620 exhibitors from 74 countries will fill OFC’s exhibition halls to unveil innovations, including: Acacia, now part of Cisco; AC Photonics, Inc.; Amphenol; ATOP Corporation; AUREA Technology; CIENA Corporation; Cisco Systems, Inc.; Corning Incorporated; Dimension Technology; Hyper Photonix; Infinera; Ligentec; OZ Optics; Profiber (Vietnam); Samtec, Inc.; Santec USA; Sanwa Technologies; Thorlabs; US Conec; and VPIphotonics, among others

Exhibitors with a local California presence include: Arista Networks, Ayar Labs, Credo, DiCon Fiberoptics, Keysight Technologies, Kyocera International, Marvell, Semtech, Source Photonics and Synopsys.

“Our projected in-person participation levels are the highest they have been in recent years, reflecting OFC’s status as the premier platform for industry innovation,” said OFC General Chairs Chris Fludger of Infinera, Roland Ryf of Nokia Bell Labs, and Dimitra Simeonidou of the University of Bristol, UK. “At the heart of this innovation is OFCnet, a live network collaboration between academia and industry, spotlighting the latest tech straight from the labs to the industry forefront.”

At the OFCnet booth (#923), attendees can explore 12 live demo kiosks, with eight showcasing quantum technology advancements. Additionally, the program includes an Educational Session track featuring seven panels covering topics such as “Telecom Fiber Networks as the Core of the Next Generation TerraScope,” “Quantum Key Distribution Demonstrations,” “Quantum Networking Evolution,” “Quantum Network Advancements,” “Software Define Infrastructures,” “Optical Benchmark” and “Optical Infrastructures and Services.”

Special events

Besides the usual exhibition and conference program, there will be several special events this year, including:

  • Student Party – Monday, 25 March, 19:00 – 21:00; CoinOp Game Bar Gaslamp. The OFC Student Party allows students to meet and network in a fun and relaxed environment.
  • OFC Fun Run – Wednesday, 27 March, 06:00-07:00; Bottom of San Diego Convention Center Stairs (front entrance). Meet up for an early morning, 3-mile run or walk with fellow OFC colleagues.
  • A complete listing of special events can be found here.

Next-gen technology interoperability

OFC 2024 will also showcase industry innovation through collaboration. For example, three industry-leading groups— Ethernet Alliance, OIF and Open ROADM—will hold technology discussions and live multi-vendor interoperability demonstrations of the latest optical networking advancements.

Technology areas to be showcased by these organizations include next-generation solutions for data-center networking, artificial intelligence, machine learning and disaggregation applications. Demonstrations will span a range of technologies, including 800G; OpenROADM MSA compliant optical transport networks; 800ZR; 400ZR; OpenZR+ optics; energy-efficient interfaces; co-packaging; Common Electrical I/O channels; and Common Management Interface Specification implementations.

“OFC continues to set the pace for innovation, unveiling the pioneering trends that will define the industry and provide solutions to the most critical global issues like quantum networking and data-center connectivity,” said OFC General Chairs Chris Fludger, Infinera; Roland Ryf, Nokia Bell Labs; and Dimitra Simeonidou, University of Bristol, U.K. “Anchoring many of OFC’s show floor advancements and demonstrations is OFCnet.”

Mad City Labs, Inc.LaCroix Precision OpticsTRIOPTICS GmbHUniverse Kogaku America Inc.Berkeley Nucleonics CorporationABTechFirst Light Imaging
© 2024 SPIE Europe
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