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OFC2024: Challengers

2024-04-10    Carol

What made this year's OFC so good was the presence of quite a few new faces, whom I will refer to as challengers. After all, it's my first time to come back to OFC after three years epidemic.



The biggest and most promising challenger to me is Dr. John Yu's Zenithtel, a company that makes next-generation optical transport equipment, OTN, DCI, and white boxes. Its team includes several veterans and is all from well-known equipment companies. Although decoupling this year is not focus of the show, but that does not mean it is not important. With strong support from local government, the right time, location and team, Zenithtel is the company I expected so long. On OFC, Dr. Yu has a lot of friends and I think they are all wishing him well.



By coincidence, when I walked up to Sintai's booth, I heard that they were also exhibiting at OFC for the first time. I was no stranger to Sintai's DCI equipment, but just thought they should have come earlier. Also at OFC for the first time, I saw Ruijie, a Chinese 400G/800G switch producer. After all, North America is the number one market for all these equipment. Although they are all looking for the right way in the context of de-Chinaization, the collective appearance of these new forces represents the beginning of a new era. In fact, it is these equipment companies that have been the most active at OFC this year. An interesting watch is that both chip companies like Marvell and Cloud companies like Bytedance are developing equipment, they are all challengers.



In the field of transceivers, HG Genuine can be said to be the most active new force in the field of transceivers, from the application of technology, team, exhibition, comprehensively beyond the past giants. It is said that they have a strong supporter now.  Another new transceiver company, Fast Photonics rent a meeting room near Broadcoms. The competition in the optical transceiver market is again interesting to watch. It is worth naming ATOP from China, Fiberstamp from Singapore, as well as South Korea's Lessenger. The first two did very good show, and the South Korea company holds two new technologies Dow and LRO, two very promising technology.



There were also many challengers in the integrated chip field: Hyper Photonix became the sponsor of the conference, Credo became the star of the show with LRO solution, and SiPH starup, Silishs booth was also very impressive. It was the first time for me to see the booth of Yuanjie Semiconductor Technology , which has outstanding technology in the field of laser chips. There are also TFLN fans AFR, ORI-CHIP, and Onetouch. Even the traditional passive company Wuhan Yilut Technology exhibited silicon optical engine, which shows that the integration technology has spread and popularized.



New type of fiber is this year's technology hot spot. It requests new type of high density connectors and passive components. HYC and CXfiber 's multi-core FIFO devices challenge the advantages of Japanese companies. Triple-Stone also by virtue of miniaturization has gradually become a new star in the passive field. Huajiayu showed WDM subsystem instead of only devices. As leading companies demo the high-density new connectors, a number of emerging photonics-level connectivity companies demo their chip-level connectivity innovations.



The challengers in the instrumentation field are Dimension Tech and EXFO. Dimension is looking forward to be another Thorlab and EXFO aims at Keysight with full line high speed transceiver test solution.



Another challenger that could not be left out was Hermesys, an integration trader from Singapore. Anyone who walked by its booth stopped by. I was surprised that they wanted to challenge FS.com to create a new ecosystem with a relatively traditional model that we are more familiar with.



The last challenge has to do with electricity versus light. Amphenol is the king of the three-kingdom battle with TE and Molex. Their copper connectivity solutions were packed with visitors. In the history of the conference, I have never seen so many people care about electrical connections, only to say that every kind of technology is advancing, and there are always opportunities for those who work hard.



Challenge means new energy, and part of the beauty of OFC is these challengers.