Gazettabyte asked several attendees at the recent ECOC show, held in Cannes, to comment on key developments and trends they noted, as well as the issues they will track in the coming year.
Dr. Ioannis Tomkos, Fellow of OSA & Fellow of IET, Athens Information Technology Center (AIT)
With ECOC 2014 celebrating its 40th anniversary, the technical programme committee did its best to mark the occasion. For example, at the anniversary symposium, notable speakers presented the history of optical communications. Actual breakthroughs discussed during the conference sessions were limited, however.
It appears that after 2008 to 2012, a period of significant advancements, the industry is now more mainstream, and significant shifts in technologies are limited. It is clear that the original focus four decades ago on novel photonics technologies is long gone. Instead, there is more and more of a focus on high-speed electronics, signal processing algorithms, and networking. These have little to do with photonics even if they greatly improve the overall efficient operation of optical communication systems and networks.