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  • Emerging Technology and Trends on Tap at OFC/NFOEC
Feb 2007
The future of optical communications, including broadband, fiber-to-the-home and growing bandwidth demands, as well as cutting-edge technology and industry trends, will be discussed at the 2007 Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition and the National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC), being held at the Anaheim Convention Center from March 25-29.

More than 13,000 are expected to attend this year's OFC/NFOEC, widely considered the premier international event for both the science and business of optical communications and the largest all-optical business exhibition in the US.

Since 1985, the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC) has been the annual forum for those in the optical communications field to network and share research and innovations. In 2004, OFC joined forces with the National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (NFOEC) creating the largest and most comprehensive international event for optical communications.

2007OFC-NFOECplenaryspeaker.jpgThis year, attendees can experience 85 presentations by experts in the field of optics and telecommunications, peer-reviewed technical presentations, the latest research presented in post-deadline sessions, more than 45 short courses, 12 interactive workshops, a Service Provider Summit and Market Watch, and not-to-be-missed plenary sessions. The exhibit, with nearly 550 vendors expected, will feature interactive demonstration stations, the earliest previews of the most innovative new services and new product introductions. 

The plenary session, being held Tuesday, March 27 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. in the Pacific Ballroom of the Hilton Anaheim Hotel, always attracts the largest audience of the conference. This year's promises to be even more jam-packed with featured speakers Nicholas Negroponte, founder of One Laptop per Child; Mark Wegleitner, Verizon Communications CTO and senior vice president, technology and network planning; and Chongcheng Fan, vice director, Professional Group of Optical Communication at the Chinese Institute of Communications. Their talks will provide insights into the state of the optical communications industry, information on the latest in cutting-edge technology, assessments and analyses of industry trends and a unique international perspective on the future of optical fiber communications.

Negroponte, co-founder of the MIT Media Lab and an expert in global digitalization, is chairman of the nonprofit One Laptop per Child, which seeks to provide $100 laptops to children in developing countries and has recently expanded to the US.

Wegleitner's address, titled "Maximizing the Impact of Optical Technology," will explore the current optical technologies that, combined, make an end-to-end all-optical network both practical and economical.

Fan, a retired professor from Tsinghua University in Beijing, will discuss "Optical Fiber Communications in Mainland China: Activities and Visions of Carriers, Equipment Vendors and Academia," which provides valuable firsthand insights into the trends and activities of the booming telecommunication industry in China.

The show will also feature a three-day (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) series of panel sessions to engage the applications and business communities in the optical communications field. Presentations and panel discussions feature guest speakers from industry, research and the investment community.

A Tuesday session moderated by Incubic's Milton Chang will discuss the resurgence in core network opportunities, as well as the continuing growth of broadband access, that has stirred the optical value chain in the past year. This session will feature speakers sharing insights that cover a spectrum of relevant issues, such as Michael Howard, principal analyst and co-founder, Infonetics Research Inc., talking on "The Future of Optical Networking: Moving Toward an Ethernet-WDM Tranport" and David P. Dixson, vice president, Optical Network Div., Alcatel-Lucent, discussing "Transformation to the All-Packet Transport Network -- Challenges, Solutions, Enablers, and Migration Strategies."

Also speaking that day will be Tim Jenks, chairman, president and CEO of NeoPhotonics. A discussion on digital Hollywood will cover such topics as disruptive business models and technologies for content distribution; network neutrality, the "walled garden," and intellectual property issues; as well as linear, broadcast television vs. content-to-the-device. It will be moderated by David Piehler of Alphion Corp.

A Wednesday session will cover opaque vs. transparent optical networks and will be moderated by Karen Liu of Ovum RHK. Much of the driving force in the past 10 years behind network evolution has been the idea of the all-optical network, with more optical regeneration, and less electronic regeneration. Recently, some in the vendor community have proposed just the opposite -- that by embracing electronic switching as a core asset of the optical network, both operating and capital expenses can be lowered. This latest paradigm shift has stirred vigorous debate in both the vendor and carrier communities.

Giving a talk on "The Value Proposition of Electronic over Optical Switching in an Optical Network" will be Dave Welch, founder, Infinera. Speaking on "The Evolution of Optical Networking Transparency beyond Further, Faster, and Cheaper" will be Thomas A. Strasser, founder and CTO, Nistica Inc. Also giving talks will be Loukas Paraschis, Advanced Technology, Core Routing, Cisco Systems, and Robert Feuerstein, senior architect, Level 3 Communications Inc.

ROADMs, IPOs and growing bandwidth demands will be the key topics for Thurday's sessions, moderated by Marc Stiller, director, Product Engineering, NeoPhotonics; Phil Becker, Wasserstein Ventures; and Dawn Hogh, OpVista. The session explores the drivers behind the sudden change from optical networks merely desiring ROADM to requiring it, including emerging ROADM technologies, system architecture and changes in system traffic and growth patterns. Discussing their views on the drive for and future of ROADMs will be Jy Bhardwa, general manager, Agile Optical Networks Business Unit, JDSU, who will talk on "ROADM Technology and Functionality: The Road Ahead;" recent advances in ROADM technologies will be the subject of a talk by Yoshinori Hibino, executive manager, NTT Network Labs, Japan. Also speaking will be Jeffrey Maddox, PLM, Optical Products, Cisco.

The Wall Street perspective will be addressed in a session moderated by Phil Becker, senior investment director, Wasserstein Ventures. The session will cover such issues as US service provider and equipment provider consolidations, triple-play competition from cable providers, FTTP (fiber to the premises) deployment through Verizon's FiOS service, and the initial public offerings (IPOs) of the telecom market.

A talk entitled "Optical Telecom is Blossoming Again" will be given by John Dexheimer, partner, First Analysis Private Equity. Presenting "A Contrarian View of the Communications Market" will be Russell A. Johnson, partner, Kalkhoven, Pettit, Levin & Johnson Ventures. Speaking on "Value Creation and Monetization in Optical Modules" will be Andrew Schmitt, general partner, Nyquist Capital.

Another Wednesday afternoon panel session will cover the escalating bandwidth demands in enterprise networking and will be moderated by Dawn Hogh, vice president of marketing, OpVista Inc. The session discusses how operators and enterprises are responding to the challenges created by escalating bandwidth demands with applications such as storage, security and video and features speakers from the enterprise, operator, equipment provider, and analyst community, providing their views on what is driving higher bandwidth requirements in the optical layer by enterprises.

A Service Provider Summit on Wednesday is open to all attendees and will feature topics and speakers of interest to CTOs, network architects, network designers and technologies within the service provider and carrier sector, as well as time for exhibiting and networking. The summit includes panel discussions on topics such as FTTx, emerging networks, the FTTH evolution in Japan, Verizon's broadband strategy and a keynote presentation by Sanghoon Lee, senior executive vice president, Korea Telecom, about the impact of FTTP in Korea.

OFC/NFOEC is managed by the Optical Society of America (OSA) and co-sponsored by OSA, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/Communications Society (IEEE/ComSoc) and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers/Lasers and Electro-Optics Society (IEEE/LEOS).

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Indicating a capability to deal with a relatively wide spectral bandwidth.
Pertaining to optics and the phenomena of light.
optical communications
The transmission and reception of information by optical devices and sensors.
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