What People are Tweeting About OFC
Day 3 Tuesday, March 11
OFC Show Floor Opens to Flurry of Activity
The OFC show floor opened its doors this morning to a flood of attendees, eager to interact with the 550 exhibitors on hand showing the latest in optical networking, ROADMs, WDM, optical interconnects, FTTx and more. Attendees, customers, and vendors are here to get one-on-one face time with each other—hearing the latest news and announcements in areas such as 100G coherent modules, optical transceivers for datacenters, software-based solutions and more.
Exhibitors commented on how strong traffic was looking on the first day. “There’s been a lot of activity and we’ve had a lot of customers stop by,” said Cisco’s Leonard Luna. “OFC is becoming the main show of the year for network architecture so we’re very happy with our investment in the show. We had a great first day and are looking forward to an even better one tomorrow.”
Market Watch Kicks Off with Industry Overview and a Look at 100G and Beyond
Beyond the booths, show floor programming in three theaters got underway today. Market Watch opened with a state of the industry panel and a session on 100G and beyond. At the latter, presenters from Juniper, ADVA, NTT and others discussed the needs, applications, adoption and deployment of commercially available next-gen 100G and beyond solutions for the metro, regional and long-haul backbone networks. ADVA’s VP of Advanced Technology , Jörg-Peter Elbers, pointed out that 100G has found rapid adoption in core and metro networks. However, he said, the pressure to lower cost, power and size while increasing capacity continues, which means 400G and software-defined optics are the next big thing. Domenico Di Mola of Juniper went on to speak about switched-transport systems requirements for enabling multi-layered convergence in packet-optical integration. He stated overall IP traffic will see a compound annual growth rate of 23 percent between 2012 and 2017, and that content delivery networks will carry more than half of Internet traffic in 2017—two-thirds of which will be video.
Roadmapping the Future of Optical Communications
OIDA held a panel discussion reviewing roadmaps for the optical communications industry. OIDA’s Tom Hausken gave an overview of the communications supply chain, noting that telecom services as a whole are worth $3.34 trillion worldwide, with optical networking systems and optical components both in the $15 billion+ range. He noted the benefit of roadmaps to government programs such as Europe’s Photonics21 and to companies themselves. “There are a lot of roadmapping efforts in optical communications out there today—from regional funding plans to project-specific roadmaps. This session was a first for putting them in perspective, particularly with the U.S. National Photonics Initiative (NPI) in mind,” he said.
Blurring the Lines Between CTOs and CIOs
Nearly 40 members of the media attended the OFC press luncheon today. The panel, moderated by Dana Cooperson of Ovum, addressed the “IT-ization of Telecom” and featured Randy Nicklas, CTO of Windstream, Gary Smith, CEO of Ciena and Ihab Tarazi, CTO of Equinix . They discussed future technology trends, customer needs and the importance of collaboration between the CTOs and CIOs in the industry. Cooperson probed them to provide their perspectives on what happens when the “back office” moves into the heart of the network, the CTOs and CIOs roles start to blur and the “data center” replaces the “wire center” in communications networks. “If your hardware partner doesn’t have a roadmap to take you to software solutions, it is hard to find the long-term value,” Tarazi said.
Keynotes Cover the Network, User Demand and the Future of Optical Communications
The widely attended Plenary Session featured a slate of keynotes covering the business and technical sides of the industry. Ciena CEO Gary Smith’s talk, “Net Positive: Why the Network Matters Again,” served as a rallying cry for the industry, calling for companies to move beyond focusing on just the “plumbing” of the network. “Who shares in the value creation of the Internet? We do. We do because we created the technology that facilitated it.” He went on to say that the industry as a whole needs to turn upside down how it thinks about building networks. “We think of network as infrastructure – build it and they will come. Let’s instead start with the end users and build it for their needs.” He also noted the need for collaboration and openness between all the industry players. “No one company can deliver all this. Everyone must play nicely.”
David Clark, of MIT’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory, gave an entertaining look at the demands from end users on the network, driven largely by videos. Video demand will continue in the fixed wireline space, but, Clark noted, “a key question for providers is— is wireless potentially a substitute for wireline, or just a complement?” Clark stated that no one in their right minds would watch a full-length video on their mobile device and smart wireline ISPs want to make sure it remains that way. Thus, he says, video will continue to be a critical investment area for wireline providers.
Alcatel-Lucent Bell Labs’ Robert Tkach rounded out the session with a technical look back at the beginnings of fiber and how we got to where we are today. He explored the question of whether spatial division multiplexing is the solution to today’s capacity crunch. His answer: probably, if it can be integrated and made cost effective.
Honoring Luminaries in the Field
A special luncheon was held honoring the many award winners from the co-sponsoring societies of OFC (IEEE Communications Society, IEEE Photonics Society and The Optical Society). Kazuro Kikuchi of the University of Tokyo, Japan, was named this year’s John Tyndall Award Winner. The winner of the field’s top award spoke on his contributions to coherent detection techniques. Also honored at the luncheon were the IEEE David Sarnoff Award winner Larry Coldren of the University of California, Santa Barbara, the IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award winner Alan Willner of the University of Southern California and the winner and honorable mentions of the Corning Student Paper Competition. Fellows of all three societies were also recognized for their many contributions to the field – ranging from optical sensing to fiber optic network deployment to optoelectronic devices. It was a reminder of not only the impressive advancements seen in the research community today, but also the importance of the people behind those breakthroughs and their hard work to advance the field.
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