The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

Moscone Center,
San Francisco, California, USA

OFC Celebrates 50 Years of Fiber

By Stephen Hardy, Editorial Director/Associate Publisher, Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report


This year marks the 50th anniversary of a pair of foundational optical communications milestones: the demonstration of sufficiently low-loss optical fiber and the first lasers that could operate at room temperature. OFC 2020 will mark the occasion in several ways, all under the heading Celebrating 50 Years of Light-speed Connections.”

The festivities begin 10 March at 18:15 with a special keynote address in Ballroom 20BCD from David Welch, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Infinera. Welch will take a look back at some of the major achievements in optical communications technology since 1970. He’ll also make a few predictions about what the near-term future in the space might hold.

Immediately following the keynote, the show organizers will hold a reception in the nearby Sails Pavilion from 19:00 to 20:30. Along the lines of Welch’s keynote, the reception theme will embrace both past achievements as well as what may come next. Some of the people involved in the milestones recognized in the keynote are expected to attend.

On Wednesday, 11 March, the Special Chairs’ Session will extend the forward-looking aspects of the celebration through a series of presentations under theme “Vision 2030: Taking Optical Communications through the Next Decade.” The session will run from 14:00 to 18:30.

Meanwhile, two other events will run throughout the week. On the show floor, attendees will find “The Timeline of Innovation” in Booth 5801 of Exhibit Hall B. Visitors to the booth will be able to trace the evolution of optical communications technology through images and examples of technology breakthroughs. The latter include such items as a LiNbO3 modulator, an early reel of optical fiber, a photonic lightwave circuit (PLC) wafer from 1983, the first optical transceiver for fiber to the home (FTTH) applications, and more.

Finally, those passing through Lobby E in front of the exhibit halls will find an interactive exhibit dedicated to the John Tyndall Award. The award, presented since 1987 by IEEE Photonics Society and The Optical Society (OSA), recognizes the achievements of individuals who have significantly advanced fiber-optic technology. The exhibit will highlight the 33 winners and their accomplishments via touchscreen displays and other means.

More information on the 50th anniversary celebrations can be found on the OFC website.

Posted: 27 February 2020 by Stephen Hardy, Editorial Director/Associate Publisher, Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report | with 0 comments

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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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