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OFC 2023 Conference and Exhibition Celebrates Strong Post-pandemic Rebound; Highlights Include Quantum Networking, AI, Data Center Connectivity

OFC 2023 Conference and Exhibition Celebrates Strong Post-pandemic Rebound; Highlights Include Quantum Networking, AI, Data Center Connectivity

Show featured sold-out exhibition of global innovators, and served as a launch platform for many exciting start-ups


SAN DIEGO – OFC 2023, the premier global event for optical communications and networking, welcomed back attendees to a sold-out exhibition with an audience showcasing the latest advancements in the field. OFC 2023 hosted over 11,500 participants and 515 exhibiting companies and served as the platform for several start-ups to make their debut, including those that offer cutting-edge DWDM solution.  Event organizers provided a compelling series of exciting programs and events to welcome back the entire ecosystem with a focus on inclusivity. Attendee excitement was high throughout the week.


"One of OFC's highlights was live interoperability demonstrations from leading optics companies running over OFCnet," said OFC chairs Chris Cole, Coherent Corporation; Ramon Casellas, Centre Tecnològic de Telecomunicacions de Catalunya; and Ming-Jun Li, Corning Incorporated. "Another was the Plenary Session with inspiring talks by three leading executives, including two females, who shared insights into how technology is transforming our industry and reshaping the world."


"The optical sector is currently in an exciting period," said Woo Jin Ho, Analyst - Hardware and

Communications Equipment, Bloomberg Intelligence. "Companies continued to introduce and launch new innovations at OFC 2023, such as 1.2T and 1.6T coherent optics and Co-Packaged Optics. But it was really refreshing to hear the ramp up and monetization of the innovations that were introduced at OFC two, three years ago."


"What an amazing week with so many innovations in one place," said Jelena Pesic, Ph.D., Nokia. "Nothing can replace face-to-face meetings with colleagues and researchers around the world. For Nokia, it was an opportunity to show our cutting-edge innovation with new PSE-6s, Coherent Routing, network automation, integrated C+L band line systems and 25G PON. Looking forward to seeing the boundaries being pushed even further at OFC 2024!"


OFC plenary:


Visionary leaders Patricia Obo-Nai, Chief Executive Officer, Vodafone Ghana;  Jayshree V. Ullal, President and Chief Executive Officer, Arista; and Wendell P. Weeks, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Corning Incorporated, gave inspiring plenary talks. Obi-Nai spoke on the impact of networks and access to data on social change and inclusive economic growth. Ullal highlighted the artificial intelligence revolution and the new network requirements her company is working to meet. Weeks gave a historical perspective on the business of technological revolutions and how that history might inform the near future in optical networking.


Exhibits:


515 companies from 70 countries, including several start-ups that made their debut, used OFC to unveil new products and innovations and reconnect with customers. Among those were companies with cutting-edge optical transponder technology, which allow for efficient data transmission over long distances, and can convert electrical signals into optical signals, extending their transmission range beyond the current limits of electrical inputs. These innovative solutions from various companies have contributed significantly to the development of the telecommunications industry and are expected to unlock new opportunities for businesses across the world.


"OFC is the place to get a first-hand look at the technologies and applications that will power the future of optical networking," said Steve Alexander, CTO at Ciena, co-sponsor of OFCnet, and chair of OFC Long Range Planning. "Many innovations are happening in coherent technology, software, and automation—including our WaveLogic 6, the industry's first 1.6Tb/s coherent optic solution—and the conference affords attendees the opportunity to get up close in person with the advances that are pushing the envelope in these areas."


"Product announcements and company launches were back in full force at this year's event," added Casellas, Cole and Li. "OFC has long been a showcase for entrepreneurs focused on transforming markets. It was great to see so many new companies introducing innovative technologies and leveraging OFC to speed their market adoption."


"We are seeing significant year-over-year growth in the PON equipment market, which approaches $20bn in 2028," said Julie Kunstler, Chief Analyst, Omdia. "Key PON ecosystem players, encompassing subcomponent, component and solution vendors, along with service providers, are here at OFC. PON innovation is around us, providing more bandwidth at lower-cost points, while ensuring backwards compatibility to earlier generations of this fiber and optics-efficient technology."


"OFC is the ideal conference for Xscape Photonics - it allows us to network with vendors, customers, and partners, while also attending state-of-the-art technical talks," said Alex Gaeta, Founder and CEO, Xscape Photonics.


OFC net:


OFCnet, OFC's live high-speed optical network, enabled booth-to-booth fiber connectivity for on-site optical demonstrations while also extending CENIC, the Corporation for Education Network Initiatives in California, to the OFC exhibition. Technology solutions provider, SmartCity, provided the on-site support in the San Diego Convention Center for exhibitor connectivity. This connectivity is providing new opportunities for exhibitors who collaborate with affiliated academic institutions to highlight advancements and capabilities in a live real-time, fully operational network environment. In 2023, 19 organizations came together to support large-scale optical networking demonstrations. Nine companies contributed equipment to extend the reach of the demonstrations across multiple booths.


Interoperability demonstrations:


Four industry-leading organizations—COBO, Ethernet Alliance, OIF and Open ROADM—hosted technology discussions and live multi-vendor interoperability demonstrations of the latest optical networking advancements. Technology areas showcased include Co-Packaging architectures, Common Electrical I/O (CEI) architectures, Common Management Interface Specification (CMIS) implementations, as well as high-speed Ethernet connecting multiple booths via the OFCnet showcasing the 400GbE, Open ROADM MSA-compliant optical transport network with mesh topology and 400ZR.


"OIF was thrilled to celebrate its 25th anniversary at OFC 2023," said Dave Brown, Nokia and OIF Director of Communications. "OIF is where the optical networking industry's interoperability work gets done, and OFC is the key event to showcase that work. Attendees saw OIF projects like 400ZR, CEI, CMIS, and Co-packaging come to life through our multivendor interop demos. OFC continues to be the venue to debut advanced technologies in optical communications."


OFC 2024:


Mark your calendar for OFC 2024, 24-28 March, at the San Diego Convention Center in San Diego, CA.


About OFC


The 2023 Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition (OFC) is the premier conference and exhibition for optical communications and networking professionals. For nearly 50 years, OFC has drawn attendees from all corners of the globe to meet and greet, teach and learn, make connections and move business forward.


OFC includes dynamic business programming, an exhibition of global companies and high-impact peer-reviewed research that showcases the trends shaping the optical networking and communications industry. OFC is co-sponsored by the IEEE Communications Society (IEEE/ComSoc) and the IEEE Photonics Society and co-sponsored and managed by Optica (formerly OSA).


OFC was recently named one of the 50 fastest-growing shows of 2022, according to Trade Show Executive Magazine.


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