Is Optical Switching Finally Ready For Large-scale Deployment in Datacenters and Advanced Networks?

Friday, 11 June 10:30 – 12:30


Hideaki Furukawa, National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT), Japan
Kazuhiro Ikeda, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan
Richard Jensen, H+S Polatis Inc., USA


Optical switching technologies have been steadily advancing in recent years and are being deployed in an ever growing range of networks.  Optical switching technologies are attractive due to their data transparency, low-latency and energy efficiency. Emerging applications that could lead to wide scale deployment include scale-out datacenters, optical access networks, space communications, optical sensing, and high-performance computing. Data centers operators in particular see a never-ending growth in demand for high bandwidth reconfigurable services, and are considering the potential of optical switching to provide software-defined virtual connectivity and also to lower costs by increasing utilization and power efficiency through resource disaggregation.

In this panel we will cover recent advances in optical switching technology and development roadmaps along with the driving forces behind current and emerging applications in datacenters and other fields. We will address the key question as to whether optical switching technologies are finally ready for large scale deployments.

Key Topics and Questions to Cover:

  1. Current and emerging optical switching applications
  2. Driving forces behind deployment of optical switching in networks and datacenters
  3. When will optical switches be widely deployed in datacenters and what barriers to entry remain?
  4. Where will optical switching technology be in 5 and 10 years?
  5. Are very large 10K x 10K optical switches with nanosecond switching speeds really needed?


Hitesh Ballani, Microsoft Research, UK
Data-center networking for a post-Moore’s Law Era

Ken-ichi Sato, Nagoya Univ. and AIST, Japan
Innovating Intra Data Center Networks with Large-scale Optical Switches - Technologies and Performance Achieved

George Porter, Univ. of California, San Diego, USA
Control Planes for Optical Switching

Nick Parsons, H+S Polatis, UK
High Radix Optical Switching: Ready for Prime Time?

Benjamin G. Lee, NVIDIA Research, USA
Photonic Switch Modules Offering Fast and Efficient Reconfigurability

Tae Joon Seok, nEYE Systems, USA
Large-scale Silicon Photonic Switches with Integrated MEMS