• Technical Conference:  30 March – 03 April 2025
  • Exhibition: 01 – 03 April 2025
  • Moscone Center, San Francisco, California, USA

OFC Blog

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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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.