By C. David Chaffee, Chaffee Fiber Optics
“We are on the way to the gigabit society,” said OFC/NFOEC 2011 keynote speaker Bruno Orth Tuesday morning at the plenary session. Orth defines the gigabit society as a mobile broadband photonic network that is all IP. “The price for WDM has gone down tremendously over the past decade,” said Orth. Router performance is much better than Moore's law would estimate.
New networking models are needed to deal with the economics of fiber to the home, Orth said. “The first 20 percent of those receiving it are not the problem,” he observed. “The last 20 percent account for up to 50 percent of the networking cost. Therefore, we need a new model for FTTH infrastructure”
A helpful exercise for service providers that is used at Deutsche Telekom is to assume that all your customers use smart phones, or that all your customers had their full content in the cloud, or that they all used VOIP and roamed freely, according to Orth. He raised the growing fear that many have that smart phones have the potential to stress or even crash the network.
“We are engaged in optics in a way we have never been before,” said Alan Gara, IBM Fellow and Blue Gene Chief Architect. “All interconnects in the new IBM supercomputers will be optical by 2018,” according to Gara. “Without optics we will not be able to continue to build systems,” he continued. “The optical boundary will continue to move in.” The only way IBM will be able to achieve its next gen supercomputing goals will be through optics, he said.
Kristin Rinne of AT&Labs said there has been an 8,000 percent increase in mobile broadband traffic over the last four years, noting that the application behind much of the growth is video. “There is an awfully lot of wireline in the wireless network,” said Rinne, who quoted Dell'Oro report numbers which say that $8 billion will be spent on fiber and microwave mobile backhaul upgrades in the next five years.
Congratulations to the following winners acknowledged at the plenary session: Constance Chang-Hasnain (David Sarnoff award), David Welch (Tyndall Award), the following OSA fellows: Young-Kai Chen (Bell Labs), Charles Cox (Photonic Systems), Michael Eiselt (ADVA Optical), Nicholas Frigo (U.S. Naval Academy), Jonathan Knight ( University of Bath), Ashok Krishmamoorthy (Oracle Labs), Xiang Liu (Bell Labs), William Shieh (University of Melbourne), and Lakshmin Tamil (University of Texas). IEEE Communications Society fellows include: Debabani Choudhury (Intel), Paul Morton (Morton Photonics), Jawadand Salehi (Sharif University of Technology) and Jane Simmons (Monarch Network Architects). IEEE Photonic Society fellows include Douglas Baney (Agilent Technologies), Jin-Xing Cai (Tyco), Nareseh Chand (BAE Systems), Frederick Kish (Infinera), Paul Morton (Morton Photonics, again), Rodney Waterhouse (Pharad), and Alice White (Alcatel-Lucent).
C. David Chaffee (email@example.com) owns Chaffee Fiber Optics, a Baltimore-based firm that specializes in analyzing developments in fiber optics and publishing on the state of the industry.