The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

On-board Optics - Challenges, Discoveries and the Path Forward

Wednesday, 22 March; 10:15 - 11:45
Expo Theater II
Session Organized by COBO

Session Description

The Consortium for On-Board Optics (COBO) launched at OFC in 2015 to start the process of developing specifications for on-board or embedded optics. The panel will discuss some of the technical challenges and key learnings from the effort over the past two years. It will also look at what is next for the data center networking working and the status of the newly formed coherent working group.


Brad Booth, Principal Architect, Azure Networking, Microsoft, USA

Brad Booth is a long-time leader in Ethernet technology development and standardization. Currently heading up the 25/50G Ethernet Consortium and the Consortium for On-Board Optics, he is a Principal Architect at Microsoft, where he drives hyper-scale interconnect strategy. He is also the founder and past Chairman of the Ethernet Alliance, and has held senior strategist and engineering positions at Dell, AppliedMicro, Intel and PMC-
Sierra. The holder of multiple patents related to networking technologies, Brad has received awards from the IEEE for his work on Ethernet standards. He was listed as one of the 50 most powerful people in networking by Network World magazine.


Robert Blum, Director of Strategic Marketing and Business Development, Intel, USA

Robert Blum is Director of Strategic Marketing and Business Development for Intel’s Silicon Photonics Solutions Group. Prior to joining Intel, Robert was Director of Strategic Marketing at Oclaro Inc., and held various Director of Product Management and Marketing roles for Oclaro’s DWDM and consumer laser portfolio. Before joining Oclaro, Robert was Product Line Manager for optical transmission components at JDS Uniphase Corporation and held various engineering and marketing management roles at Gemfire Corporation, all in California. Robert worked at Deutsche Telekom’s research labs in Darmstadt, Germany, while completing his master’s thesis and holds a doctorate degree in Physics from TUHH in Hamburg. He has also studied and done research at Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale in Lausanne, Switzerland, and at Stanford University, California.

Ed Frlan, Senior System Architec, Semtech, USA

Ed Frlan is a Senior System Architect within the Gennum Products Group of Semtech Corp responsible for the definition of next generation physical layer products. He is presently OIF’s Technical Committee Vice Chair and is active in the development of the new PAM4 based electrical interface specifications. He joined Gennum from a Hardware Architect position within the Metro Ethernet Networks division of Ciena where he was responsible for the system architecture and synchronization aspects of various line cards (including Carrier Ethernet, SONET, OTN and Broadcast Video). Ed holds a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Carleton University.

Jignesh Shah, Sr. Product Architect at Samtec Inc., USA

At Samtec, Jignesh is responsible for defining the optical product architecture for their next generation FireFly on-board engines. He has over 20 years of industry experience with companies like Finisar and Sumitomo Electric where he was responsible for defining the optical, mechanical and thermal product design and architecture. Jignesh and Samtec have been heavily involved in driving the COBO standard by leveraging their extensive knowledge of optical engines, connector and system design.

Jignesh holds multiple patents that are pertinent to the optical transceiver industry, and has completed his education and research at IIT Mumbai and the University of Texas at Austin.

Hugues Tournier, Senior Manager, Power and Signal Integrity, Ciena, USA
As manager of Power and Signal Integrity, Mr. Tournier supervises the projects related to high speed transmission for transport at Ciena. Mr. Tournier joined Ciena in 2010. In the past, he has worked with JDSU as a reflectometer designer. He also worked at Bell Northern Research (BNR) as a firmware and hardware designer, and for Nortel as a technical supervisor for hardware PCB development.
Mr. Tournier is a member of the Optical Internetworking Forum, OIF, and IEEE.
He also joined the COBO as the Electrical Sub-Group Chair. More recently, Mr. Tournier became the Coherent COBO Chairman. As a Chainman and member of COBO, he guides and contributes to the decision-making process, particularly on matters related to high speed interconnections and electro-mechanical requirements for the Coherent COBO module.
Mr. Tournier holds two patents entitled Method and Apparatus for In-Service Optimization of the Performance of an Optical Transmission System and Millimeter-Wave Broadband Transition of Grounded Coplanar Waveguide on Thin-to-Thick Substrates.  

Nathan Tracy, Technologist, TE Connectivity, USA

Nathan Tracy has over 30 years of experience in Technology Development, Marketing, and Business Development for TE Connectivity.  Currently, he is a Technologist on TE’s system architecture team, driving new product development for the data communications market.  He also manages TE’s industry standards activities for that market.
Nathan is involved in a number of outside industry associations.  Presently he is a member of the board at the OIF, a regular attendee and contributor to the Ethernet Alliance and IEEE 802.3 as well as a number of industry consortiums and MSAs including COBO.


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