In 1970, two significant technical achievements led to the development of practical fiber optical communications: the demonstration of low-loss fibers (16dB/km) and the first room-temperature semiconductor lasers. Since then, numerous other breakthroughs have resulted in increasing the bandwidth and reach of fiber links, enabling the World Wide Web, video streaming, trans-oceanic, high-capacity links, high-capacity wireless communications and many other data services.
Come celebrate the successes of the OFC community that have facilitated light-speed connections between individuals and businesses across geographic and oceanic boundaries.
David Welch, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Infinera, USA
In his role, Welch drives deep business and technology innovation through forward-looking strategies, including breakthrough technologies and technology partnerships, in addition to innovative business and market directions. Welch is currently a member of Infinera’s Board of Directors, where he has served the company since 2010. Prior to co-founding Infinera, he served as CTO, Transmission Division at JDS Uniphase, and in various executive roles, including CTO and Vice President of Corporate Development, at Spectra Diode Labs (SDL).
Welch also serves on the Board of Directors at several start-up companies. He holds over 130 patents, and over 300 technical publications, and has been awarded The Optical Society’s (OSA) Adolph Lomb Medal, Joseph Fraunhofer Award and John Tyndall Award, as well as the Institute of Engineering Technology’s J J Thompson Medal for Electronics. He is a Fellow of OSA and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and is a member of the National Academy of Engineering.
Welch holds a B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from Cornell University.
The Timeline of Innovation
As we look back at the discoveries of years past and speculate about what is yet to come, OFC unveils a unique show-floor exhibit that surveys 50 years of optical fiber innovations — from the first demonstration of low-loss fiber in 1970 to efficient 400GbE transport at any distance today. Browse the timeline of milestones, and see the progression of invention through artifacts and imagery. Download the timeline (pdf).
The John Tyndall Award Exhibit
The Tyndall Award, established in 1987 and jointly presented by IEEE Photonics Society and The Optical Society (OSA), has been bestowed upon 33 visionaries who have made outstanding contributions in the areas of optical-fiber technology. The interactive exhibit introduces visitors to the recipients, their inventions and innovations and the impact of their work.