The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

Los Angeles Convention Center,
Los Angeles, California, USA

50 Years of Fiber Optic Innovation Honored at OFC 2016

MEDIA ADVISORY

23 March 2016



50 Years of Fiber Optic Innovation Honored at OFC 2016

Built on a history of innovation, the OFC conference and exhibition continues to impact today’s optical networking industry

50 Years of Fiber Optic Innovation Honored at OFC 2016

Built on a history of innovation, the OFC conference and exhibition continues to impact today’s optical networking industry


ANAHEIM, California — In 1960, optical lasers were in their infancy, demonstrated at only a few research laboratories and performing much below the needed specifications. Sir Charles Kao, known across the optical sciences industry as the “Father of Fiber Optics,” discovered how to make light travel long distances over optical glass fiber, which today is the backbone for modern optical communications. In 2009, Kao won the Nobel Prize in Physics for his groundbreaking achievements concerning the transmission of light in fibers for optical communication. Fifty years later the OFC Conference and Exposition (OFC) being held this week in Anaheim, California, USA, recognized Kao’s remarkable achievement.

“Dr. Charles Kao foresaw the widespread use of glass optical fibers for worldwide communication at a time when people didn’t believe you could send light through even a 100 meters of glass without losing it all,” said Christopher Doerr, Acacia Communications and one of this year’s OFC General Co-Chairs. “Those of us at OFC continue to build on his work. It is hard to imagine how we would have a high bandwidth Internet today without the visionary work of Sir Charles Kao.”

Kao received his Ph.D. in 1965 from University College London. Beginning in the early 1960s, he worked at STL in Harlow, England, where he performed his pioneering research on fiber optics. In 1966, with colleague George Hockman, Kao presented and published his results on studies of long-distance transmission of light over fiber optic cables. They showed that it should be possible to purify silica sufficiently to make signal transmission over glass fibers practical. The first ultrapure fiber was successfully fabricated by Corning, Inc. just four years later, in 1970. Today, fiber optic cables are the backbone of broadband communications – and, with amplification, a single fiber can carry optical signals between any two points around the world.

About OFC
OFC is the largest global conference and exposition for optical communications and networking professionals. For over 40 years, The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC) has drawn attendees from all corners of the globe to meet and greet, teach and learn, make connections and move business forward. OFC includes dynamic business programming, an exposition of more than 550 companies, and high impact peer-reviewed research that, combined, showcase the trends and pulse of the entire optical networking and communications industry. OFC is managed by The Optical Society (OSA) and co-sponsored by OSA, the IEEE Communications Society (IEEE/ComSoc), and the IEEE Photonics Society. OFC 2017 takes place 19 -23 March at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California, USA.



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