By David Chaffee
Before the first trans-oceanic optical transport system, there were papers and presentations at OFC describing how seemingly fragile, hair-thin strings of glass would transmit millions of photons every second while resting on the ocean's floor.
Before the first wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) systems came into commercial reality, there were scientists at OFC explaining how multiple colors or wavelengths would be able to traverse down one of those same tiny optical fibers simultaneously.
OFC has served as the forum for every major innovation that has rocked the optical transport world. It has recorded the ascending data rates that have been generated by minute semiconductor lasers, from 45 Mbps, to 90 Mbps, to 400 Mbps, to 622 Mbps, to 2.5 Gbps, to 10 Gbps to 40 Gbps and now to 100 Gbps and 1 Tbps.
The conference has chronicled the relentless assault of optical transport throughout the network, from submarine, to long-haul terrestrial, to regional, to metro and now to the final frontier—the home and office.
Well before they actually reached commercial fruition, scientists at OFC explained how tunable lasers, reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers, fiber lasers, very dense WDM, coherent optics and the numerous other tools that have led to our wondrously progressing technology would be there to help.
Of course without the incredible versatility of the photon and the amazing potential of fiber optics, these characteristics would not have been there to discover in the first place, but as has been pointed out at OFCs past, nature has smiled on fiber optics.
To see how the future will be revealed at OFC/NFOEC 2011, one place to look is for hero experiments, the results of which often are contained in the Post-Deadline Papers, which are to be released on the evening of Thursday, March 10. At last year's post-deadline paper sessions there was important work related to transmission and coherent technology, including:
“Transmission of 96x100 G Pre-Filtered PDM-RZ-QPSK Channels with 300% Spectral Efficiency over 10,606 km and 400% Spectral Efficiency over 4,368 km,” by J. Cai et al
“69.1 Tbps (432 x 171 Gbps) C- and Extended L-Band Transmission over 240 km Using PDM-16-QAM Modulation and Digital Coherent Detection,” by A. Sano et al
“Field Trial of a Real-Time, Single-Wavelength Coherent 100 Gbps PM-QPSK Channel Upgrade of an Installed 1800 km Link,” by M. Birk et al.
There will also be a final Market Watch panel session on Thursday from 1 to 3 p.m. on What's Next for Optical Networking in Expo Theater I in Exhibit Hall G.
Let OFC/NFOEC open your eyes to not only where fiber optics is today but where it is going tomorrow.
Founder/CEO, Chaffee Fiber Optics
Posted: 4 March 2011 by
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