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  • Networking Issues Top Agenda
Jan 2008
SAN DIEGO, Jan. 11, 2008 -- The ever-increasing demand for faster communication networks with more capacity, and the need to develop effective systems to manage the growing traffic on these networks, will be major topics of discussion at the Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition and the National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) Feb. 24-28 at the San Diego Convention Center.

Other topics expected to generate a high level of attendee interest include: FTTX (fiber to the x), reconfigurable optical ADMs (ROADMs), and silicon photonics. Silicon photonics technology uses standard silicon and CMOS manufacturing techniques to make optical devices that can be more than 10 times smaller than conventional ones. By making the silicon photonic devices on top of CMOS circuits, the photonic devices can be seamlessly integrated with electronics, ultimately reducing the interconnection and packaging cost and improving operating speed.

OFC08Plenary.jpgOFC/NFOEC 2008 is considered the premier international optical communications event and provides a comprehensive view of the industry. The event features short courses with a broad range of topic areas, highly regarded invited presenters, interactive workshops and discussions, many technical sessions and numerous posters, trends, insights and analyses by leaders in the field on what's in store for networks and telecoms during the daylong Service Provider Summit and three-day Market Watch sessions. There is also a two-day exhibition of more than 500 companies who will introduce their latest products and technologies.

The plenary session at OFC/NFOEC always draws the largest audience of the conference, and this year's speakers are all veterans in the field of optics and telecommunications. Three speakers are scheduled to give the keynote addresses at the plenary session and a fourth will provide the keynote address at the Service Provider Summit, a program designed for those in the service provider and carrier sector. Their talks will provide important insights into the state of the optical communications industry, information on cutting-edge technologies, assessments and analyses of industry trends and a unique international perspective of the future of optical fiber communications.

The plenary session takes place Feb. 26 from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. Presenting a speech entitled "Toward Terabit Ethernet" will be Robert Metcalfe, general partner, Polaris Ventures. Metcalfe is a former MIT engineer, Harvard mathematician, Internet developer, Xerox scientist, Stanford professor and 3Com founder. At the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center in 1978, Metcalfe helped build a 150-Mb/s optical Ethernet at a time when transcontinental links of the Internet core ran at 50 Kb/s. His presentation will explore how rates of 10 GbE (Gigabit Ethernet) were achieved, and also how industry can get to 1000 Gbp/s, or what Metcalf has dubbed Terabit Ethernet (TbE), which he sais will be needed to carry rapidly increasing traffic on the new mobile, video and embedded Internet. Metcalfe will walk through a roadmap to TbE, factoring in traffic drivers and volumes, key issues and tradeoffs, and the relative roles of packet and high-bandwidth optical circuit transport and switching.

"Perspectives on Optical Communications" is the title of the plenary keynote scheduled to be given by Herwig Kogelnik, adjunct photonics systems research vice president at Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent. Kogelnik has worked for Bell Labs since 1961 and has received numerous industry awards and honors. He was recently awarded the 2006 National Medal of Technology by President George W. Bush.

According to Kogelnik, nearly one terameter (1000 million kilometers of optical fiber are now deployed around the globe, providing a high-capacity network infrastructure for the world's now-dominant data traffic, which continues to double in volume every year. Customers of this fiber network include over one billion Internet users, who continue to demand newer and broader bandwidth services. In response, lightwave research and development has advanced the capacity of long-haul fiber transmission systems by a factor of 100 since the WDM (wavelength division multiplexing) revolution began just over 10 years ago.

In his talk, Kogelnik will give his perspectives on progress in the technology of components and optical integrated circuits that promises to reduce network costs while also boosting transmission and switching data rates. Examples include monolithic transceivers that are widely tunable and operate at 40 Gb/s, optically integrated wavelength-selective switches enabling multidegree mesh-ROADMs and field-tested PICS with 10 WDM channels operating at 10 Gb/s each.

Kogelnik will also discuss highly promising advances in the use of sophisticated modulation formats, such as multilevel PSK in conjunction with receiver-side digital signal processing and system research experiments using polarization-multiplexed DQPSK that have demonstrated long-haul transmission at a record capacity of 25 Terabits per second per fiber, as well as cost-effective transmission of 10 WDM channels, each carrying 10 GbE traffic.

He will also note the strong resurgence of construction of undersea fiber systems in the Pacific and the large-scale deployment of fiber to the premise (FTTP) which is now providing millions of users with essential broadband services such as GbE to the home and business.

Pieter Poll, chief technology officer (CTO) for Qwest Communications Corporation Inc. and a 20-year telecommunications industry veteran, will talk on "Evolving Carrier Networks to Cost-Effectively Manage Proliferating Traffic Growth" in his plenary session. He will discuss the challenges facing the industry as network traffic grows at an ever-increasing rate, and the need for carriers and vendor partners to find innovative ways to increase network capacity and improve network efficiency while also driving down costs. He will discuss potential strategies and the outlook for managing the increasing network requirements to economically deliver the services customers want now and in the future at a price they are willing to pay.

Scheduled to give the keynote address during the Service Provider Summit Feb. 27 at 9 a.m. is Reed Hundt, advisor, Blackstone Group and McKinsey & Co., and former chairman of the Federal Communications Commission. The Service Provider Summit is a dynamic program of topics and speaker of interest to CTOs, network architects, network designers and technologists within the service provider and carrier sector. The program includes panel discussions, exhibit time and networking time and audience members are encouraged to participate in the question-and-answer segments that follow the presentations.

Another highlight of OFC/NFOEC will be the Future Internet Symposium Feb. 26 from 2 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. The symposium is divided into two main parts: Short presentations describing areas of research and a panel discussion of that research. Speakers include Piet Demeester of Ghent University in Belgium, who is leading the research group on broadband communication networks and who will present the talk, "From Intelligent Optical Networks towards Optical Intelligent Networks;" Blair MacIntyre, an associate professor in the School of Interactive Computing at the Georgia Institute of Technology, who will speak on "Mobile Augmented Reality Experiences;" and Guru Parulkar, executive director of Stanford University's Clean Slate Internet Design program and a consulting professor of electrical engineering, who will answer the question, "Why is a 'Clean Slate Internet' Activity Needed?."

The three-day Market Watch is a series of panel discussions and presentations to engage the applications and business communities in the field of optical communications.

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). The technical co-sponsor is Telcordia Technologies Inc.

For more information, visit:


Visit at OFC/NFOEC Feb. 26-28 at Booth 3700

Indicating a capability to deal with a relatively wide spectral bandwidth.
optical fiber
A thin filament of drawn or extruded glass or plastic having a central core and a cladding of lower index material to promote total internal reflection (TIR). It may be used singly to transmit pulsed optical signals (communications fiber) or in bundles to transmit light or images.  
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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