and pulsed signal powers attained
by high-power optical fiber lasers
and amplifiers has not yet reached
the ultimate fundamental power
limits. This topic will be discussed by
Jay W. Dawson.
As Jes Broeng will review,
extremely large mode areas and
high gain to maximize optical signal
power have driven radical fiber
designs, including actively doped
solid core photonic bandgap fiber.
Even telecom, which originally gave
birth to high-power optical fiber
technology, stands to benefit from
some of the recent advances, as will
be discussed by George H. BuAbbud.
Non-traditional dopants or materials systems are also playing a role
in expanding the envelope of fiber
performance. Bismuth-doped silica fibers will be discussed by
Evgeny M. Dianov and Yasutake Ohishi will describe recent
progress with tellurite fibers.
Fiber and Waveguide Devices
Advances in fiber amplifiers for optical communications
systems continue to draw strong interest from the industry.
High-speed burst-mode amplifiers with automatic control
leveling will play an increasingly important role in high-speed optical communications. This topic will be covered in
an invited talk by Yoshinari Awaji. Work continues on other
aspects of fiber amplifiers, including the impact of spectral
hole-burning due to channel loading and extending the
wavelength regions of optical amplifiers using novel dopants.
The performance of semiconductor amplifiers continues to
improve. Recent advances and applications will be covered in
a talk by Juerg Leuthold.
Fiber parametric amplifiers, which have demonstrated
speeds of 320 Gb/s, enable tunable delay and dispersion compensation, high-speed de-multiplexing, signal regeneration
and multicasting, and other applications. Andreas Wiberg will
discuss some of these applications.
There is strong interest in high-power fiber lasers. Many
aspects of these lasers—including narrow-linewidth operation
at high powers and scalability—will be covered by Frederik
Laurel. Precision control of fiber lasers is an active area of
research, as it allows unprecedented accuracy in frequency
measurements based on femtosecond fiber laser combs as well
as narrow-linewidth CW lasers. These topics will be covered by
Ingmar Hartl and Yaakov Shevy.
The many advances in fiber optic technologies also carry
strong benefits for other fields. Adrian Podoleanu and Morton Ibsen will conduct a workshop on how medical sciences can benefit from technologies developed for optical
communications. Joss Bland-Hawthorn will discuss benefits to
astrophotonics, and Simon Fleming
will describe prospects of poled optical fibers for frequency doubling
Optical Processing and
The growth in communications
capacity is pushing towards the
introduction of optical processing in
the network nodes. This evolution
from the current electronic processing
can allow larger throughput but lower
complexity and cost with potentially
lower power consumption and size.
Optical processing will initially inter-
operate with electrical processing and
later migrate to all-optical solutions. Three invited papers will
discuss the different approaches, while a tutorial by A. Poustie
will introduce the key enabling devices that can allow for these
technologies. The benefits of all-optical versus electronic pro-
cessing are still very controversial. A particular concern will be
the “green” issue—i.e., power consumption.
Another major growth area for optical technologies is in
access. Optical solutions can effectively be integrated with high-capacity radio links (radio-over-fiber), which require the transmission and, in some cases, processing of optical analog signals.
Other subfields, such as terahertz photonics, are also growing.
As radio access becomes ubiquitous with ever-higher capacity, radio over fiber is emerging as a flexible means to enable the
deployment and operation of high capacity base stations, which
allow protocol-agnostic communication in some cases. This
technology will be debated in a workshop on radio over fiber for
last-mile connectivity. In a tutorial, V. Urick will explain high
capacity analog links while the main technological drivers and
implementation challenges of analog photonics will be covered
by four invited speakers.
This snapshot of the state of optical communications is current
as of several months before OFC/NFOEC. For updates, please
visit www.ofcnfoec.org. The four decades of rapid advance that
commenced shortly after the pioneering work of Charles Kao
continues unabated. t
Contributors include OFC/NFOEC general chairs Bert Basch,
John Cartledge and Ekaterina Golovchenko, technical program
chairs Mehran Esfandiari, Scott Hamilton and Robert Jopson
( email@example.com); subcommittee chairs Peter Andrekson, Liam
Barry, Yun C. Chung, Ernesto Ciaramelia, Milorad Cvijetic, Ken-ichi
Kitayama, Monica Lazer, Karen Liu, Jeff Nicholson, Iraj Saniee, Vishnu
Shukla, Yurii Vlasov and Andrew Yablon; and symposium organizers,
Tom Chapuran, Richard Hughes, Clint Schow and Mike Tan.