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Home > NEWS > OFC 2024 Celebrates Unprecedented Success, Spotlights a Thriving and Expanding Optical Communications and Networking Industry

OFC 2024 Celebrates Unprecedented Success, Spotlights a Thriving and Expanding Optical Communications and Networking Industry

2024-03-29    Cfol

SAN DIEGO, March 29, 2024 – The 2024 Optical Fiber Communications Conference and Exhibition (OFC), held 24-28 March at the San Diego Convention Center in California, USA, concluded yesterday, exceeding all expectations and solidifying its status as the premier global event for optical networking and communications.

With 12,500 registrants from 74 countries, a showcase of more than 630 exhibiting companies (23% more than 2023), and hundreds of sessions with industry-renowned and invited speakers, OFC 2024 was an unparalleled gathering for industry professionals and the global hub for innovation and collaboration in the field.


Topics such as 800ZR, Coherent PON, Linear Pluggable Optics (LPO), multicore fiber, artificial intelligence (AI), data center technology, quantum networking, and more captured the interest of industry leaders, experts, academia, media, analysts and students worldwide, facilitating the exploration of the latest advancements in optical technology.

“OFC 2024 this week has been inspiring, showcasing the latest technological advancements that will define the future of optical networking and communications,” said OFC General Chairs Chris Fludger of Infinera, Germany; Roland Ryf of Nokia Bell Labs, USA; and Dimitra Simeonidou of the University of Bristol, UK. “This year’s conference has truly demonstrated the industry’s resilience, creativity and commitment to driving progress and technological breakthroughs. OFC continues to take the pulse of the industry, serving as a vital platform for determining trends and fostering innovation.”

“The theme for this year’s OFC seems to be AI, AI and more AI!” said Lisa Huff, Senior Principal Analyst, Optical Components, Omdia. “The AI revolution is just beginning and it is pushing optics further into the data center while also driving DCI volume – first with pluggables and eventually with optics to the chip. How quickly this will happen is debatable, but everyone pretty much agrees that it will start this year.”

“OFC has always evolved to where the optical market is going and this year is no different as AI has taken over the show,” said Woo Jin Ho, Analyst - Hardware and Communications Equipment, Bloomberg Intelligence. “It’s clear that optical technology is going deeper into the data center, and OFC is the platform to meet a new class of innovators and the next wave of disruption.”

OFC Plenary:

Esteemed industry luminaries Anita Döhler, CEO of NGMN Alliance; Inder Monga, Executive Director of ESnet; and David Richardson, Partner Researcher at Microsoft, headlined the event. These distinguished speakers explored cutting-edge technologies, including quantum networking and next-generation networks, providing invaluable insights into the evolving landscape of optical communications.

Döhler outlined a comprehensive framework for understanding 6G cellular networks, even amid ongoing 5G implementation. She explained that interoperability enabled by standards is foundational to the success of any generation of a cellular network. The NGNM Alliance is championing this cause, providing vision and leadership in the telecommunications industry to ultimately provide an outstanding end-user experience.

Monga underscored why networks are crucial for science. From managing the vast data streams produced by particle accelerators to telescopes imaging the universe on the largest scales, collaborative data sharing fosters scientific breakthroughs. This collaborative approach to science is foundational to Lawrence Berkeley National Labs and plays a crucial role in the development of future quantum networks.

Richardson explained the significant advancements facilitated by hollow fiber technology, highlighting an increase in transmission speed, a 33% reduction in latency and an ultra-low loss rate of just 0.11dB/km. He shared that Microsoft is currently integrating this technology into its network infrastructure, paving the way for data centers to be situated farther from data hotspots, thereby reducing expenses and unlocking new logistical opportunities.


The sold-out exhibition, held from 26-28 March, was a highlight, featuring more than 630 industry-leading companies representing the entire ecosystem of optical communications and networking. Attendees had the opportunity to explore groundbreaking technologies, innovative optical components, devices, systems, test equipment, software and specialty fiber products.

As a worldwide event, OFC provides startups with the opportunity to debut while industry leaders set the pace for the future. It includes unveiling pioneering trends that will define the industry’s trajectory and offer solutions to critical global issues such as quantum networking, artificial intelligence (AI) and data-center connectivity.

“As the world’s largest manufacturer of materials, components, modules and subsystems for optical communications, OFC is one our most important shows,” said Sanjai Parthasarathi, Chief Marketing Officer, Coherent Corp. “We are excited to be part of this event and honored to organize and participate in both technical and market forums, including AI/ML, which has been the hottest topic in the industry for over a year. OFC has always been a great venue for us to meet with our customers, suppliers and partners.”

“EXFO was pleased to participate in OFC 2024 where there was immense interest in the PIC and 800G innovations paving the way for the generative AI revolution,” said Etienne Gagnon, Senior Vice President, Test and Measurement, EXFO. “OFC brings together the optical and datacom community and demonstrates the power of collaboration and interoperability within our sector.”

“OFC unites everyone in the industry at the forefront of innovation in optics, photonics and data centers,” said Dr. Armond Hairapetian, Founder and CEO, TeraSignal. “The informative technical sessions and the high energy on the show floor were indicative of the excitement of what’s to come next in the datacenter and the AI markets. For TeraSignal, OFC provided the perfect platform to emerge from stealth mode – introducing a new class of intelligent LPO, a new class of CMOS devices with link diagnostics for AI and compute interconnects.”

“We’re delighted by the palpable energy on the exhibit floor,” added the OFC Chairs. “It’s reassuring to see the culmination of breakthrough technologies from previous OFC events now being commercialized and actively applied in networks. Equally exciting are the innovative solutions unveiled here, shaping the landscape of future networks and adding further momentum to our collective industry progress.”


There was a notable emphasis on energy efficiency and showcasing solutions to address the escalating power consumption challenges in data centers, particularly due to the expansion of AI-driven applications. Technology demonstrations, product launches, and discussions, including a special media and analyst invite-only session featuring a panel of thought leaders, explored innovative technologies such as linear drive pluggable optics (LPO), co-packaged optics (CPO), optical switching and other emerging solutions aimed at reducing power consumption in optical interfaces within the network.


OFCnet, the live high-speed optical network introduced in 2022, played a pivotal role in facilitating collaboration between exhibitors, research laboratories and commercial ventures. With expanded quantum demonstrations, OFCnet showcased emerging technologies from research to commercial deployment, underscoring its significance in driving optical networking excellence.

“Through OFCnet, attendees experienced firsthand the transformative potential of quantum networking, programmability and network software for big data applications,” said Marc Lyonnais, Director of External Research at Ciena and OFCnet Chair.

Show Floor Programming:

The business-focused show-floor programming provided valuable insights into current market trends and emerging technologies. Market Watch, the Network Operator Summit, and the Data Center Summit offered perspectives from industry leaders and experts, highlighting the industry’s current environment and future prospects.

“The business-focused program at OFC serves as an essential cornerstone of the conference ecosystem, offering attendees invaluable insights into the evolving landscape of optical networking and communications,” added the OFC Chairs. “Providing a platform for showcasing the latest business, industry and technology trends, these programs are instrumental in shaping our understanding of current market dynamics and emerging technologies. As a free resource available to all attendees, this programming not only enriches our knowledge but also fosters meaningful dialogue among industry leaders and experts, driving forward innovation and strategic initiatives within the community.”

Interoperability Demonstrations:

Interoperability demonstrations led by organizations such as Ethernet Alliance, OIF and Open ROADM showcased breakthrough technologies and the latest in industry standards. Live demonstrations, some boasting the largest involvement ever, spanned a range of technology areas, including 800G solutions, OpenZR+ optics, energy-efficient interfaces and Common Management Interface Specification (CMIS) implementations.

“We are exceptionally proud of the achievements showcased at this year’s conference, particularly in driving the industry forward through standards and interoperability demonstrations,” added the OFC Chairs. “Looking ahead, we anticipate continued collaboration and innovation to shape the future of optical communications technology.”

About OFC
The 2024 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, combined, showcase the trends that are shaping the entire 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).

Learn more and engage on LinkedIn, follow @OFCConference on X (formerly Twitter) and watch highlights on OFC’s YouTube channel.