OSA | Living History

Celebrating 50 Years of Light-speed Connections

In 1970, two significant technical achievements led to the development of practical fiber optical communications: the demonstration of low-loss fibers (16db/ km) and the first CW room-temperature semiconductor lasers. Since then, numerous other breakthroughs have resulted in increasing the bandwidth and reach of fiber links, enabling the World Wide Web, video streaming, trans-oceanic high capacity links, high capacity wireless communications and many other data services.

At the 2020 OFC Conference and Exhibition, several events took place to celebrate the successes of the OFC community that have facilitated light-speed connections between individuals and businesses across geographic and oceanic boundaries.

Special Keynote:  This multi-media presentation from David Welch, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer, Infinera, USA, looks back at 50 years of discovery and its impact on society. The talk will conclude with a brief glimpse into the near-term future. In his role, Welch drives deep business and technology innovation through forward-looking strategies, including breakthrough technologies and technology partnerships, in addition to innovative business and market directions. The special keynote was followed by an enhanced, “past/present/future” themed conference reception.

 

Special Session:  Vision 2030: Taking Optical Communications through the Next Decade
Reflecting upon the 2010-2019 decade, OFC has led the optical communications industry and research communities to achieve significant and groundbreaking milestones. Looking forward to the next decade, we seek to answer a key question: what are the emerging hot topics and groundbreaking innovations to be anticipated? This session gathers together eight visionary speakers who will discuss past successes alongside forthcoming innovations in the next decade.

The Timeline of Innovation:  As we look back at the discoveries of years past and speculate about what is yet to come, OFC unveiled a unique show-floor exhibit that surveyed 50 years of optical fiber innovations — from the first demonstration of low-loss fiber in 1970 to efficient 400GbE transport at any distance today.  The timeline of milestones and see the progression of invention through artifacts and imagery. 

Timeline of Innovation Milestones

John Tyndall Award Interactive Exhibit:  The Tyndall Award, established in 1987 and jointly presented by IEEE Photonics Society and OSA, has been bestowed upon 33 visionaries who have made outstanding contributions in the areas of optical-fiber technology. The interactive exhibit introduced visitors to the recipients, their inventions and innovations and the impact of their work.

John Tyndall Award Winners