OFC 2018: All About Next Gen Data-center Connectivity and 5G Network Upgrades

Posted Mar 09, 2018 by Vineet Vikram

One of the most important annual event in optical communications, OFC 2018, is set to be held once again from March 11- March 15 at the San Diego Convention Center, California. The event this year is expected to draw more than 700 exhibitors from around the globe along with more than 15,000 executives, technical experts, university research teams, media and analysts. 5G, Next-gen optical transport, multi-layer optical internetworking, open transport hardware/software and disaggregation will be some of the most discussed topics at OFC this year.

More than 25 exhibitors have pre-announced their news through OFC’s First News program (available exclusively to media/analysts), including DATA-PIXEL, Fujitsu, Luna Innovations, MACOM, Molex, Optelian, OIF, Sumitomo Electric and more. Three days of exhibits by international organizations demonstrating the latest optical innovations for future networking growth segments will be kicked off by a plenary program featuring industry luminaries:


OFC has now increased in overall square footage by 44% and experienced a 21% growth in exhibitors and attendees in the last five years. More than 700+ global organizations will occupy 350,000 square feet of exhibit space using the yearly event to unveil and demonstrate products and solutions. Organizations participating in OFC 2018 include: Arrayed Fiberoptics Corporation, ATOP Corporation, Cicor Group, Ciena, Coriant, Corning Incorporated, Cisco Systems, EFFECT Photonics, Finisar, Fujitsu Optical Components, Global Communication Semiconductors, Huawei Technologies, Infinera, Juniper Networks, Liverage Technology, Lumentum, Mellanox Technologies, Mitsubishi International, Nokia and more. Technologies on display include network and test equipment, optical transport systems and optical component, fiber cables and specialty fiber manufacturers.


In addition to the dynamic exhibits, OFC 2018 will also provide attendees with complimentary exhibition floor programming, including:

  • Data Center Summit: Data Center Optical Interconnect - Technologies and Markets: 13 March - Moderated by Frank Chang, OFC’18 N5 Program Chair; Principal Engineer, Optical, CTO Optics Office, Inphi Corporation, USA - this one day summit will highlight technologies, applications and deployment scenarios for data centers. Featured speakers from Tencent, II-VI Photonics, Applied Optoelectronics, Infinera, Mellanox, Equinix and Nokia will discuss 400G and beyond, CDFP, CFP8, OSFP, QSFP-DD, and how the cloud data center is driving new generations of optical interconnects.
  • Market Watch: 13-15 March - From optical bearer technologies for 5G Networks to software innovations in the next-generation optical transport and a comprehensive state of the industry analyst panel, this three-day series of panel discussions, addresses the latest application topics and business issues in the field of optical communications. Presentations and panel sessions feature esteemed guest speakers from industry, research and the investment community, including Coriant, Cignal AI, Discerning Analytics, Heavy Reading, Inphi Corporation, NEC Laboratories America, NTT Electronics Corporation.
  • Network Operator Summit: 14 March - This one-day program gives professionals in the supply chain, from equipment manufacturers to components, the inside perspective from service providers and network operators. Keynote by: Najam Ahmad, Vice-President, Network Engineering, Facebook and speakers from Infinera and Ovum
  • Connected OFCITY Challenge 2018: Lighting Up the Emerging World - Alibaba and Google will collaboratively take on the challenge to develop communications infrastructure and services based on requirements defined by South African National Research Network (SANReN), Network Startup Resource Center (NSRC), and CSquared, to address the pressing needs for two cities in a fast developing area in East Africa.

The scenarios will provide a realistic insight into the major issues faced by the communications industry in the region, which include network reliability, environmental restrictions, limited funds, regulatory issues, and more. Audience members will gain awareness of optimal design solutions for broadband development and important services in emerging regions. Presented in two theaters on the show floor and open to all OFC 2018 registrants, individual programs covering topics from 5G mobility networks, Optical Cross Connect (OXC) and All-optical Intelligence, 5G network requirements for front, mid and backhaul, submarine optical fiber. A comprehensive schedule is available here.

OFC 2018 will also host several special events and demonstrations including the Lab Automation Hackathon and The Suzanne R. Nagel Lounge, providing an inclusive Space to Spark Conversation and Community.