OFC expects 15,000 industry professionals, 700 exhibitors in San Diego in March

Dec. 21, 2017

The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition (OFC) is expected to continue its growth trajectory with more than 700 exhibitors from leading global companies. OFC, being held March 11-15 in San Diego, has increased in overall square footage by 44% and experienced a 21% growth in exhibitors and attendees in the last five years, organizers said.

As further evidence of the optical communications industry’s impact, OFC 2018 is expected to draw more than 15,000 industry professionals looking to hear the latest on groundbreaking optical communications innovations, datacenter connectivity, 5G network upgrades, data security, and the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning in optical networks.

Editor’s note: The March 2018 issue of EE-Evaluation Engineering will include a staff-written article on optical communications technology, with an emphasis on OFC. If you’ll be attending OFC, let us know what products you’ll be exhibiting or what technical topics you’ll be presenting so we can give our readers a heads-up. Send email to [email protected].

“Over the last few years, we have seen significant growth on the exhibit floor, and this year’s exhibits will expand to more than 350,000 square feet,” explained Melissa Russell, chief industry relations officer, The Optical Society. “The last time OFC was in San Diego, in 2010, we used only about 60% of the space in the San Diego Convention Center, and in 2018 we are using all of it.”

According to market-research firm Ovum, the optical networking and communications market grew 22% in the second quarter of 2017, and the firm forecasts it to reach $16 billion this year. “OFC’s number of exhibiting companies has experienced the most significant growth, up 21% in just the last five years. We are encouraged to see such healthy numbers in the market,” Russell continued.

LightCounting Market Research also sees a continued growth trend in the market segment, noting that “…the total market for optical components and modules used in optical communications will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10% over the five-year period to 2021.”

Technical presentations will address topics such as active optical devices and photonic integrated circuits; deployable optical components, systems, networks, and applications; field-installation equipment; network architectures; access networks for fixed and mobile services; radio-over-fiber; and optical, photonic, and microwave-photonic subsystems.

Panels will give attendees a chance to weigh in on topics such as machine learning and SDN, flexible grid deployments, 5G and optical networking, large-scale fiber deployments for evolving networks, and 400G optics for hyperscale datacenters.

Workshops will explore undersea system designs, DSP for short reach and client optics, electro-optical integration in a package, field trials, capacity limits for TDM/TDMA PON, fiber-capacity scaling, cloud optical boxes, and datacenter design in 2028.


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