The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

March 2016

OFC Daily Wrap - Friday

By OFC Staff | Posted: 25 March 2016

With its final day of programming and exhibits over, OFC proved to be a great success.

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Curing Cancer with Rainbows

By Lisa Huff, Discerning Analytics | Posted: 25 March 2016

Last night, Mary Lou Jepsen, Executive Director of Engineering at Facebook and Head of Display Technologies at Oculus,  gave us a lot to think about in her speech at the OSA 100-year anniversary Light the Future event. She carried us through history, describing seemingly insurmountable obstacles that scientists have had to endure to give us, the optical communications community, as well as the general public, devices that not only enrich our lives, but also sometimes save it.

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Optics for the Cloud: Expectations and Reality

By Vladimir Kozlov, LightCounting Market Research | Posted: 25 March 2016

Investments by cloud companies in mega datacenters and supporting networking infrastructure have created a new and very dynamic segment in the optical components and modules market. Customer expectations and supply concerns were the subject of a panel discussion at OFC on Thursday morning.

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OFC Daily Wrap - Thursday

By OFC Staff | Posted: 24 March 2016

Thursday at OFC: don't miss the opportunity to see an exciting range of show floor sessions.

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Satisfying Bandwidth Demands

By Principal Analyst, Service Provider Infrastructure | Posted: 23 March 2016

Vendors used OFC this week to announce and demonstrate their latest solutions designed to satisfy the next wave of increased bandwidth demands. With the industry rapidly moving beyond the capabilities of 10G and into main stream deployment of 100G services, it is clear that switching capacities and port densities on existing packet optical transport platforms will be stressed.

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OFC Daily Wrap - Wednesday

By OFC Staff | Posted: 23 March 2016

Wednesday at OFC: day two of the Exhibition and a full day of programming.

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Hardware Innovation and SDN Bring Renewed Promise to IP+Optical Integration Hardware Innovation and SDN Bring Renewed Promise to IP+Optical Integration

By Sterling Perrin, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading | Posted: 22 March 2016

IP and optical integration as a concept has a long history. It has been a topic that has come and gone at OFC for the 16 years that I have been an industry analyst and an attendee at this event. The early buzz around “IP over glass” diminished rapidly when operators quickly realized that there were no standards for interoperability.

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OFC Daily Wrap - Tuesday

By OFC Staff | Posted: 22 March 2016

Tuesday at OFC.

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Are optical networks as secure as we think?

By Chris Janson, Optical Product Marketing - Nokia | Posted: 21 March 2016

OFC provides an annual report on advances in optical capacity, reach, agility and control. Certainly, the advances in components, systems and software are nothing short of amazing since I first attended OFC in 1990. Back then, we were reporting methods and devices to carry analog video along with digital data. We have come so far!

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OFC 2016 Plenary: The Open Optics Revolution

By Casimer DeCusatis | Posted: 21 March 2016

The OFC plenary is always an exciting and thought-provoking presentation, and this year will be no exception The photonics industry is being disrupted by emerging technologies such as network function virtualization (NFV), software defined networking (SDN), and radical new network architectures.  Many traditional optics providers are struggling with the implications of this wave of change, and how it will impact their business models and the people they serve. One of this year's plenary speakers is the man responsible for delivering AT&T’s next generation network architecture, Andre Fuetsch.

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OFC Daily Wrap - Monday

By OFC Staff | Posted: 21 March 2016

Monday at OFC: It's about improved testing, speed and efficiency. Plus a preview of the plenary presentation.

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OFC Daily Wrap - Sunday

By OFC Staff | Posted: 21 March 2016

We're glad you're here. Each morning of the conference, we'll be sending The Daily Wrap — spotlighting things to note for the day ahead and highlights from the day before.

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OFC: Today’s Not to Miss Programming

By Rebecca Andersen, The Optical Society | Posted: 21 March 2016

Workshops and the Plenary Session are highlights of today's programming.

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OFC Highlights: Day 3

By Ron Kline, Ovum | Posted: 20 March 2016

Learn more about

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Record-breaking Signal Transmission Capacity Paves the Way for Faster Internet

By Rebecca Andersen, The Optical Society | Posted: 20 March 2016

OFC Reseach News: Promising Larger Capacity Optical Communication Systems – Researchers from ZTE have experimentally demonstrated the highest capacity signal transmission for a two-kilometer single mode fiber inter-connect

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Record-breaking Reach for Low-cost Data Transmission between Data Centers

By Rebecca Andersen, The Optical Society | Posted: 19 March 2016

OFC Research News
Record-breaking Reach for Low-cost Data Transmission between Data Centers

Researchers in Germany demonstrate highest speeds yet by use of PAM-4 transmission
01 March 2016 -  Researchers working at ADVA Optical Networking in Meiningen, Germany, and the Technical University of Denmark have shown real-time transmission of 400Gbit/s (8x50G) over 100 kilometers, using the PAM-4 transmission format. Their system, which uses pulse-amplitude modulation with four discrete levels, significantly improves the cost, space and power efficiency for data center interconnect applications, providing a solution for distances up to 100km.

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Improved Testing, Speed and Efficiency

By Jimmy Yu, Dell’Oro Group | Posted: 19 March 2016

Finally, the wait is over. While it felt like an eternity, OFC week is now here. A look at the first wave of press releases points us to a belief that the theme of OFC 2016 will be about speed and efficiency. Regarding speed, the press releases were geared around the development of higher speed components and better testing equipment as well as 100 Gbps WDM system deployments. Furthermore, this year efficiency announcements went beyond equipment and include software, services, and organizational changes. SDN is here and companies are positioning themselves to capture the opportunity and extract value.

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Economics of Data Center Optics

By Lisa Huff, Discerning Analytics | Posted: 18 March 2016

The use of optics in data centers has been slowly increasing over the last ten years. While there is promise of one converged data center network with Fibre Channel over Ethernet, Discerning Analytics, LLC (DA) is skeptical that we will ever see FCoE be the entire network. What makes most sense economically in the near term is what has been adopted up until now, that is separate storage, LAN and clustering.

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100G Inside the Datacenter Goes Prime Time

By Andrew Schmitt, Founder, Cignal AI | Posted: 18 March 2016

First and foremost of these will be the surge of demand in 2016 for the new 100G QSFP28 format. This module, in conjunction with new 100GbE switch silicon from several vendors, will trigger high volume deployment of 100GbE in hyper-scale computing environments.

This is truly an historic moment, as it represents the beginning of a transition from 10G technology, which served customers for the past decade, to faster 25G speeds. During 10G’s reign, we’ve witnessed component vendors deliver tens of millions of modules and the price for them dropping 20% annually. 10G technology was later bootstrapped to serve the demand for 40GbE but this was really an evolutionary, not revolutionary, step. 

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OFC Research News: New Optical Transmitter Enables Better Communication Networks

By OFC | Posted: 18 March 2016

All the world's data – pictures, video, sounds, and text – has to traverse complex networks of optical fibers that crisscross cities, regions, and countries. To better handle the glut of information, a research team from NOKIA Bell Labs, have developed a new device that could become a crucial component of new flexible and optimized networks.

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OFC Rump Session: Integrated or Disaggregated Networking?

By Casimer DeCusatis | Posted: 17 March 2016

When it comes to optically interconnected network routers, do you prefer your boxes white or black? We’re discussing whether you believe in “bare metal” hardware that requires you to install your own operating system (white box), or heavily pre-integrated hardware and software solutions (black box).  This intriguing question will be examined in depth during the always popular OFC rump session on Tuesday night.

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Data Center and Enterprise Networks - Data Rate and Bandwidth Requirements

By Lisa Huff, Discerning Analytics | Posted: 15 March 2016

Even though Gigabit Ethernet has been around for more than 10 years now and 10-Gigabit Ethernet for more than seven years, 10G’s adoption rate was slow. Its deployment only passed that of Gigabit three short years ago – in 2013. The reasons are really two-fold: cost and density. As a result, we will see a more fragmented data center market. We expect small and medium enterprise data centers to continue to upgrade their servers from 1G to 10G and use 40G in the aggregation layer, while large and very large may instead transition to 25G using 100G in their aggregation layer.

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What You Need To Know About Transceiver Warranties

By Ward Williams, Chief Commercial Officer, ProLabs | Posted: 15 March 2016

There is some underlying confusion in the market about transceiver warranties and what can make them void – if anything.  As a provider of third-party transceivers focused on quality and value over brand name, we wanted to debunk the myths bring clarity to any uncertainty and ease any doubt in the minds of consumers, so they can make the best choices for their business. 

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The Smart City Challenge at OFC

By Casimer DeCusatis | Posted: 14 March 2016

Loyal readers of my blog will recall that during last year’s OFC rump session, I reported that audience members felt the next step for OFC would involve discussing connected cities. That time has come faster than you might expect, with the introduction of the Connected OFCity Challenge on Monday at OFC 2016.  This unique event is the sort of experience that you won’t find at other technical conferences, and promises to generate lots of interesting discussion. 

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Data Center Interconnect - Specific Solutions

By Lisa Huff, Discerning Analytics | Posted: 11 March 2016

Data center interconnect (DCI) is a growing market for the entire optical value chain – from carriers to optical component suppliers. Standard OTN, DWDM, Carrier Ethernet or legacy SONET/SDH alone cannot address the high-bandwidth, low-power and high-density demands of DCI. As a result, many equipment makers have developed specific solutions to address it. Some of these solutions are described below.

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True 100G: The End Game for 100GE

By Omar Hassen, Associate Vice President of Connectivity Business, AppliedMicro | Posted: 11 March 2016

As will no doubt be evident at this year’s OFC, the strong demand in 100G Ethernet is being driven by cloud services and hyperscale data centers. Data center customers are demanding a steep downward trajectory in the cost of 100G pluggable transceivers. Existing 100G module MSAs (Multi-Source Agreements) such as PSM4 and CWDM4 have limited capacity for cost reduction due to the cost of the fiber (PSM4) and the large number of components (both PSM4 & CWDM4). Similarly, two-lambda PAM4 (2x50G) trades off some optical components for a more expensive DSP and will struggle to improve upon the cost of CWDM4. 

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Data Center Interconnect: Different Models for Different Businesses

By Lisa Huff, Discerning Analytics | Posted: 10 March 2016

Data centers have become the largest target client sector for equipment manufacturers and components suppliers over the past ten years. Yet many of these vendors still do not understand that when it comes to data centers, none are the same. And, while there are large categories of data centers, within them there can be considerable variation in networking needs. In fact, some of the largest data centers network asset acquisition trends have changed drastically in this time period.

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Lighting The Next Generation Data Center

By Casimer DeCusatis | Posted: 8 March 2016

With OFC 2016 just around the corner, you’re probably starting to select your favorite topics and plan your visit. I’ve been using the official OFC app on my Android phone to help keep track of the relevant sessions I’d like to see every day. One of this year’s hot topics will be the design of components and architectures for next generation data centers, which will be featured at the OFC Data Center Summit .  Speakers from IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and many others unite to bring you this exciting event, showcasing breakthrough technologies that are reshaping modern data centers. 

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Cloud Exchanges: Ready for Prime Time

By Casimer DeCusatis | Posted: 4 March 2016

Still wondering whether you should attend OFC 2016? There’s never been a more important time to stay in touch with the innovations that will be presented at OFC.

Cloud Computing and Optical Networking

Cloud computing is only one of the many ways that optical networking will continue to drive disruptive change across multiple industries.  Optical networking has become a key enabler for all types of cloud computing (public, private, and hybrid).  And the cloud has many far reaching business implications.  Consider the impact on software development, a field that you might not associate with optical communications at first glance.

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The views expressed in this blog are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC)  or its sponsors.

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