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2022 Optica Executive Forum at OFC

07 March 2022 Hilton San Diego Bayfront, San Diego, California United States

This year's program features a keynote presentation by Keri Gilder, CEO, Colt Technology Services, four-panel discussions, and a business fireside chat. This event is an exclusive opportunity for attendees to spend a full day with senior executives, connect with the industry leaders and decision-makers, and ask challenging questions. 

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Keynote Presentation: The Modern Telco

Monday 07 March 2022 | 8:45 - 9:30 Pacific Daylight Time (UTC - 04:00)

Despite the criticality of communications to enable digital transformation, traditional models do not allow them to tap into growth. The value of the digital transformation wave is being captured by the hyperscalers and application providers up the stack as enterprises shift to an application centric procurement model. The complexity of the environment drives the urgent need for a modern telco. The modern telco focuses on four layers, the core infrastructure, the security layer, the communities that we operate in and finally the climate.

Speaker: Keri Gilder, Colt Technology Systems

Panel 1: Subsea Cable

Monday 07 March 2022 | 9:30 - 10:40 Pacific Daylight Time (UTC - 04:00)

Subsea cables are one of the most important means of global communications today. According to TeleGeography, it is anticipated that operators will be investing an additional $8.8 billion in new subsea cable systems over the next five years. Will web providers continue to drive most of the capacity growth, and if so, where does this leave service providers?

This panel will discuss the latest in subsea trends and the challenges and innovations coming to market. Such as:

  • What are the new markets for subsea? Inter-Asia, Africa, islands, new Arctic pathways? Low latency cabling for financial applications How has the ‘Open Cable’ movement changed the deployment models? Does this mean more disaggregation and more alien wave deployments?
  • What are the new technological innovations coming in the subsea market?  SDM cables and seismic visibility and monitoring – can we mitigate damage from tsunamis and earthquakes?
  • With new express routes being built, and is there still a market to upgrade the older cables?


  • Eve Griliches, Cisco Systems


  • Sushin Suresan Adackaconam, Cisco Systems
  • Lisa Bickford, Google
  • Steve Grubb, Facebook
  • Dmitriy Kovsh, SubCom

Panel 2: Fixed Access Solutions to incorporate business perspective: focus on funding, can tech keep up with investments?

Monday 07 March 2022 | 11:10 - 12:20 Pacific Daylight Time (UTC - 04:00)

With the pandemic having underscored the need for widescale broadband access, governments and the financial community are pouring money into access network expansion efforts. Most of the focus has been on optical fixed network infrastructure, with operators looking to choose the right technology to meet both current and future needs. For many that means 10G PON – but others have already begun thinking about what might come next, including 25G PON, 50G PON, and maybe even 100G PON. Cable operators, meanwhile, continue to believe that there’s plenty of life left in DOCSIS technology for their hybrid fiber/coax networks.

However, there also is increasing recognition that fixed networks may not be the optimal approach for every application, particularly those in rural areas.  Thus we’ve seen greater deployments of fixed wireless access networks, investigations of whether 5G mobile technology can meet broadband requirements, and even partnerships between major operators and satellite service providers. This panel will examine the current exploding broadband environment and discuss how operators are expected to match technologies to requirements against a backdrop of seemingly limitless funding balanced by potential resource constraints.


  • Frank Chang, Source Photonics


  • Wei-Ping Huang, Hisense
  • Julie Kunstler, Omdia
  • Andrew Lord, BT
  • Stefaan Vanhastel, Nokia

Panel 3: Near-Packaged, Co-Packaged, and Pluggable Optics: What’s Their Future in the Data Center?

Monday 07 March 2022 | 13:20 - 14:30 Pacific Daylight Time (UTC - 04:00)

Next-gen cloud networking and high-performance computing such as machine-learning and artificial intelligence are increasingly challenged by high power dissipation and the need of high-density switches.   The industry appears to agree that the advent of 51.2-Tbps switch chips will require some sort of optical approach to support I/O requirements. However, there is increasing disagreement regarding whether co-packaged optics or pluggable optics would provide the best approach. Meanwhile, near-package optics offers a third alternative that might hold some appeal in certain applications. This panel examines the various options from the standpoint of capabilities, manufacturability, risk, trade offs, and time to commercialization within the context of 51.2-Tbps and eventual 102.4-Tbps timelines.


  • Stephen Hardy, Lightwave


  • Andreas Bechtolsheim, Arista
  • Hong Liu, Google
  • Near Margalit, Broadcom
  • James Stewart, Facebook
  • Greg Young, Cisco Systems

Panel 4: Operationalizing Coherent DWDM Optics in Increasingly Diverse Deployment Environments

Monday 07 March 2022 | 15:00 - 16:10 Pacific Daylight Time (UTC - 04:00)

Coherent DWDM optical transceivers are delivering more capabilities in smaller form factors for deployment in more environments than ever before.  5th GEN embedded optical engines are running 800G wavelengths and enabling deployment of 400G at almost any reach.  Meanwhile 400G pluggable modules like 400G ZR are targeting deployment in high-capacity short reach applications like Data Center Interconnect (DCI) and 400G ZR+ looks poised to enable a major refresh of existing metro optical networks.  And 100G coherent technology looks poised to supplant traditional direct-detect (example 10/25G) optics at the far edge of the network. In addition, emerging point-to-multipoint XR Optics offer the potential to simplify the network and reduce the number of intermediate aggregation points.

With support for CFP2-DCO, QSFP-DD and OSFP form factors, pluggable coherent transceivers are finding their way beyond traditional optical transport equipment and into a host of networking elements including routers, switches and potentially 5G RAN and server/compute resources.  So, how will network operators operationalize this diverse ecosystem of next-generation transceivers and deployment environments? 

  • What challenges are created with coherent DWDM transceivers pushed closer to the edge of the network?
  • What technical specifications need to change (example CMIS) to enable efficient deployment of coherent DWDM pluggable transceivers in routers or other “non-optical” networking equipment?
  • What are the different operationalization approaches, and do they require different levels of investment but also enable different levels of support?
  • What capabilities and functions do pluggable optics need to support when deploying in “non-optical networking equipment?
  • How will performance monitoring and telemetry collection be accomplished?
  • Many transceivers have multiple modes extensive programmability.  How are service providers configuring and provisioning these modules when they are deployed in routers and switches?
  • How do service providers deliver consistency of behavior and management across such a diverse ecosystem?
  • What can CSPs learn from webscale providers that will certainly be early adopters of pluggable coherent optics into routers/switches and other network elements?


  • Tim Doiron, Infinera


  • Aref Chowdhury, Nokia
  • Mark Filer, Google
  • Art Nichols, Windstream
  • Azmina Somani, Infinera
  • Glenn Wellbrock, Verizon

Business Fireside Chat : Just in Time or Just in Case: Building a Resilient Supply Chain in a Post-COVID World

Monday 07 March 2022 | 16:10 - 17:20 Eastern Daylight Time (UTC - 04:00)

 The events of the last few years have shone a spotlight on the vulnerabilities of the semiconductor and optical supply chains. The reasons have been broadbased, ranging from  accelerated digital transformation and production lockdowns caused by covid to the impact of tariffs and geopolitical issues on where manufacturing takes place

The inability to ship a $40,000 car given unavailability of a $2 chips throw these issues into stark relief, and the impact is not contained to the automotive industry. Lead times for chips and equipment are being counted in the quarters rather than weeks causing a significant portion of demand across industries including PC, smartphone, auto and industrial to go unfulfilled. While some of this unfulfilled demand will be pushed out to future periods, there is also real demand destruction caused by these delays

It appears as though the industry needs to rethink of how to structure its supply chain to optimize across various factors including availability, security and cost. This panel will address the range of issues involved in building a resilient and optimized supply chain including

  • Capacity and location of fabs to ensure supply security
  • Assembly and packaging in locations optimized for capacity, cost of labor and tariffs
  • New inventory management models transitioning to just in case from just in time
  • Avoiding inefficiencies and increased cyclicality which comes from building to peak capacity
  • Navigating governmental support/interference in these issues


  • Natarajan ‘Subu’ Subrahmanyan, AO Asset Management


  • David Heard, Infinera
  • Chris Koopmans, Marvell Technology
  • Alan Lowe, Lumentum
  • Gaya Nagarajan, Facebook/Meta
  • Todd Swanson, Intel Corporation



  • Heidi Adams, VP, IP/Optical Networks Marketing, Nokia
  • Frank Chang, Chief Engineer & Head of the CTO, Source Photonics    
  • Tim Doiron, Sr. Director, Solution Marketing, Infinera
  • Jörg-Peter Elbers, Chief Engineer & Head of the CTO, ADVA
  • Eve Griliches, Sr. Product Marketing, Optical BU, Cisco Systems    
  • Stephen Hardy, Editorial Director/Associate Publisher, Lightwave and Broadband Technology Report    
  • Natarajan ‘Subu’ Subrahmanyan, Principal, AO Asset Management


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