Optica's Executive Forum is a 1-day program featuring a keynote session, panel presentations, a business fireside chat and many in-person networking opportunities.


Keynote: 5G/6G, XR and the Metaverse – A Silicon Valley View

Monday 06 March 2023 | 8:30 - 9:00 Pacific Time (UTC - 08:00)

In this presentation, Mischa Dohler will discuss what technology enablers need to be put in place to ensure the successful birth of the next generation internet, which we hope will be much more immersive compared to today’s internet. He will discuss XR device roadmaps, and how they are mapped to the 5G/6G timelines. In addition, he will discuss how these will enable fully immersive experiences for businesses and consumers alike.

Panel 1: Where and What is the Coherent Edge?

Monday 06 March 2023 | 9:00 - 10:15 Pacific Time (UTC - 08:00)

Coherent DWDM optical transceivers deliver more performance in smaller form factors for more environments than ever before.  Network operators are deploying 400ZR for high-capacity short reach applications like Data Center Interconnect (DCI), while a variety of 400G pluggables–-including ZR+ and XR designs–-enable a major refresh of existing metro optical networks.  

But what about extending coherent DWDM optics even further toward the edge of the network?  With capacity demands nearly doubling every two years, have we reached a tipping point where coherent DWDM technology now makes technical and economic sense at the edge of the network?  If so, is it a one-size-fits-all approach or are there competing alternatives and tradeoffs for service providers to consider?  In this session we will explore these questions and more as we put the Coherent Edge to the test.




Panel 2: Game Changer?  New Fiber Types for New Applications

Monday 06 March 2023 | 11:00 - 12:15 Pacific Time (UTC - 08:00)

Fiber technologies that have been long standing subjects of research are finally reaching commercialization.  Interest in multicore fiber is growing alongside initial deployments of space-division multiplexing (SDM) and massively parallel transmission for capacity expansion, while network operators are deploying hollow-core fiber for its low-latency properties.  Will such new fiber types flourish only in niche applications or is a revolution in fiber networking ahead? How might emerging use cases such as “networks as sensors'' affect fiber demand and selection in the future?  This session will also explore the ramifications of next-generation fiber acceptance for transmission technology demand. 



Lightning Startup Round

Monday 06 March 2023 | 13:30 - 14:00 Pacific Daylight Time (UTC - 04:00)

This high-energy session will feature a select group of startup companies aiming to commercialize solutions to optical communications challenges.  Each company will have three minutes to present itself in a fast lightning round of talks.  There will be time at the end for questions to the companies.  See the latest technology that the industry is bringing to market!   



Panel 3: Inside the Data Center:  AI/Machine Learning and the Role of Photonics

Monday 06 March 2023 | 14:45 - 16:00 Pacific Time (UTC - 08:00)

The advent of customized processors such as NPUs, GPUs, and accelerators require much greater network I/O throughput than traditional CPUs.  Further, traditional server designs lead to overprovisioned resources and underused or stranded memory and/or storage.  This is driving a desire to disaggregate the “computer” for maximum efficiency, which in turn drives the need for high throughput and low power I/O.  Endpoints are increasingly (1) power constrained, (2) depending on application, may be more or less limited in beachfront and real estate for I/O, and (3) depending on level of disaggregation, reach-limited (e.g., within a chassis, within a rack, and across racks). And in general, the supporting network infrastructure must be implemented with minimal latency and maximal throughput.

This session will address questions around AI and machine learning architectures: 

Can these applications be addressed with copper and/or traditional pluggable optics, and if so, for how long? What are the key factors that might drive system designers to alternate approaches (e.g., composable systems with photonic chiplets for I/O)? What switching technologies are in scope: Ethernet? CXL? All optical? What is the relative data center cross-sectional bandwidth supporting traditional compute vs AI/ML/other applications, and how is this expected to evolve over time?



Fireside Chat: How Are We Going to Perform in Uncertainty?

Monday 06 March 2023 | 16:00 - 17:10 Pacific Daylight Time (UTC - 04:00)

Over the last year we have seen lingering effects of COVID-19 impacting the supply chain and a host of new challenges including war, high inflation energy price shocks, and rising interest rates. While the macro and tech related spend has stayed resilient through the pandemic, the combination of macro challenges is leading to a slowing business environment, especially in Europe, while the Fed has raised rates to battle inflation.

As we face the specter of a global macro slowdown, and potentially a recession, the key question on the minds of business leaders is how this affects demand for their products and services in the near-term, which segments of the market are likely to be most resilient, and how to strike the right balance between investment and margin preservation.



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