The Optical Networking and Communication
Conference & Exhibition

San Diego Convention Center,
San Diego, California, USA

Next-Generation Coherent Architectures – Pluggable vs Multi-haul, a Knockout or a Draw?

Wednesday, 6 March, 13:30-14:30
Theater III, Hall G
Session sponsored and organized by Acacia Communications

Session Description

Coherent architectures have trended toward increasing adoption of pluggable modules but margin stacking is creating competitive pressure, particularly in higher growth, edge coherent applications.   Meanwhile, the latest generation of high-speed optics and DSPs with flexible transmission capabilities are offering solutions that support multi-haul applications ranging from high capacity edge DCI to submarine. Panelists will discuss the synergies and trade-offs between these architectures and consider how they may evolve in future generations.



Tom WilliamsTom Williams, Senior Director of Marketing, Acacia Communications, USA

Tom is responsible for global marketing and communications activities for Acacia.  Prior to Acacia, Tom spent 14 years at Optium and Finisar Corporations, where he held various management roles, including Director of Product Line Management for high speed (>100G) transmission products. Tom has also held positions at Lucent Technologies and Northrop Grumman Corporation. He has an MS in Electrical Engineering from Johns Hopkins University and BS degrees in Electrical Engineering and Physics from Widener University.


Mark Filer, Principal Optical Network Architect, Microsoft Azure, USA
Ron Johnson, Senior Director of Architecture and Product Management, Cisco Systems, USA

Matt Mitchell, Director, Optical Engineering, Facebook, USA


Mark Filer, Principal Optical Network Architect, Microsoft Azure, USA

Mark is currently Principal Optical Network Architect at Microsoft where he is focused on metro DCI, long-haul, and subsea optical solutions and next-generation data center architectures. Prior to that, he spent 14 years in optical R&D at ADVA Optical Networking in Atlanta, GA. He has published research in the areas of cloud-scale open line systems, long-haul transmission, ROADM network architectures, and system impairments. He holds B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, GA.

Ron Johnson, Senior Director of Architecture and Product Management, Cisco Systems, USA

Ron Johnson manages Cisco’s optical portfolio and the integration of IP and Optical.  He has held this position for 11 years and has worked with Cisco’s optical group for more than 18 years.  He holds multiple patents related to Cisco’s product offerings.  Ron’s team is responsible for recent innovation and integration in DWDM, Packet and TDM technologies. Ron has been in telecom for the last 21 years.  Starting out in Pacific Bell/SBC where he obtained a large carrier operational perspective that has found its way into Cisco’s IP+Optical portfolio.


Matt Mitchell, Director, Optical Engineering, Facebook, USA

Matthew Mitchell manages the Facebook Engineering team responsible for optical transport infrastructure outside of datacenters covering the metro, long haul, and subsea space.  Prior to joining Facebook, he served as VP of Optical Systems Architecture at Infinera Corporation, and held positions at Corvis Corporation and Lucent Bell Laboratories.  He earned his MS and Ph.D. degrees in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University in 1995 and 1998, respectively.  He has co-authored over 30 peer-reviewed publications and holds 28 patents in the area of optical transmission and nonlinear optics.


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