The 2023 OFC Conference and Exhibition Concludes
Highlights Include Quantum Networking, AI, Data Center Connectivity
OFC 2023, the premier global event for optical communications and networking, welcomed back attendees to a sold-out exhibition with an audience showcasing the latest advancements in the field.
OFC hosted over 11,500 participants and 515 exhibiting companies and served as the platform for several start-ups to make their debut. Event organizers provided a compelling series of exciting programs and events to welcome back the entire ecosystem with a focus on inclusivity.
“One of OFC’s highlights was live interoperability demonstrations from leading optics companies running over OFCnet,” said OFC chairs Chris Cole, Coherent Corporation; Ramon Casellas, Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya; and Ming-Jun Li, Corning Incorporated. “Another was the Plenary Session with inspiring talks by three leading executives, including two women, who shared insights into how technology is transforming our industry and reshaping the world.”
“The optical sector is currently in an exciting period,” said Woo Jin Ho, Analyst - Hardware and
Communications Equipment, Bloomberg Intelligence. “Companies continued to introduce and launch new innovations at OFC 2023, such as 1.2T and 1.6T coherent optics and Co-Packaged Optics. But it was really refreshing to hear the ramp up and monetization of the innovations that were introduced at OFC two, three years ago.”
Visionary leaders Patricia Obo-Nai, Chief Executive Officer, Vodafone Ghana; Jayshree V. Ullal, President and Chief Executive Officer, Arista; and Wendell P. Weeks, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Corning Incorporated, gave inspiring plenary talks. Obi-Nai spoke on the impact of networks and access to data on social change and inclusive economic growth. Ullal highlighted the artificial intelligence revolution and the new network requirements her company is working to meet. Weeks gave a historical perspective on the business of technological revolutions and how that history might inform the near future in optical networking.
515 companies, including several start-ups that made their debut, used OFC to unveil new products and innovations and reconnect with customers.
“OFC is the place to get a first-hand look at the technologies and applications that will power the future of optical networking,” said Steve Alexander, CTO at Ciena, co-sponsor of OFCnet, and chair of OFC Long Range Planning. “Many innovations are happening in coherent technology, software, and automation—including our WaveLogic 6, the industry’s first 1.6Tb/s coherent optic solution—and the conference affords attendees the opportunity to get up close in person with the advances that are pushing the envelope in these areas.”
“Product announcements and company launches were back in full force at this year’s event,” added Casellas, Cole and Li. “OFC has long been a showcase for entrepreneurs focused on transforming markets. It was great to see so many new companies introducing innovative technologies and leveraging OFC to speed their market adoption.”
“We are seeing significant year-over-year growth in the PON equipment market, which approaches $20bn in 2028,” said Julie Kunstler, Chief Analyst, Omdia. “Key PON ecosystem players, encompassing subcomponent, component and solution vendors, along with service providers, are here at OFC. PON innovation is around us, providing more bandwidth at lower-cost points, while ensuring backwards compatibility to earlier generations of this fiber and optics-efficient technology.”
OFC’s live high-speed optical network enabled booth-to-booth fiber connectivity for on-site optical demonstrations while also extending CENIC, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, to the OFC exhibition. Technology solutions provider, SmartCity, provided the on-site support in the San Diego Convention Center for exhibitor connectivity. This connectivity is providing new opportunities for exhibitors who collaborate with affiliated academic institutions to highlight advancements and capabilities in a live real-time, fully operational network environment. In 2023, 19 organizations came together to support large-scale optical networking demonstrations. Nine companies contributed equipment to extend the reach of the demonstrations across multiple booths. Learn more: OFCNet network diagram.
Four industry-leading organizations—COBO, Ethernet Alliance, OIF and Open ROADM—hosted technology discussions and live multi-vendor interoperability demonstrations of the latest optical networking advancements. Technology areas showcased include Co-Packaging architectures, Common Electrical I/O (CEI) architectures, Common Management Interface Specification (CMIS) implementations, as well as high-speed Ethernet connecting multiple booths via the OFCnet showcasing the 400GbE, Open ROADM MSA-compliant optical transport network with mesh topology and 400ZR.
“OIF was thrilled to celebrate its 25th anniversary at OFC 2023,” said Dave Brown, Nokia and OIF Director of Communications. “OIF is where the optical networking industry’s interoperability work gets done, and OFC is the key event to showcase that work. Attendees saw OIF projects like 400ZR, CEI, CMIS, and Co-packaging come to life through our multivendor interop demos. OFC continues to be the venue to debut advanced technologies in optical communications.”
See You in San Diego Next Year
The conference and exhibition returns to the San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, California, USA, in 2024 from 24 - 28 March.
||30 March - 03 April
San Francisco, California, USA