2019 || The OFC Convention

1The OFC, Optical Networking and Communications, conference that took place at the San Diego Convention Center was more than just a business opportunity for companies that specialize in the networking tech industry, but a chance for any technology buff to learn more about this field as well as share any sort of tech knowledge to possibly progress this industry. From well-known companies such as Huawei, Sony, Cisco, Fujitsu, and AT&T to startups on a local and international scale; some were there to promote their products and services while others were there to share notes and theories. Some companies held keynote presentations while others displayed demonstrations of their work in front of their booths. At the end of the day, it was an impressive display.

Upon entering the convention center, I walked into the middle of the section that specialized in fiber optics. Each company from varying countries in the world displayed stripped fiber optic cables in glass cases along with testing equipment which made for an impressive and colorful sight. Businessmen stood in clusters around the cases having discussions on model numbers, varying opinions on which model would work better under certain circumstances, and what processes companies are currently undergoing to improve on this technology leading into more opinionated discussion.

Proceeding to other booths, I came across companies that displayed various machinery and chips. From fixed broadband transceivers with special custom features to thermal air testing on company chips and boards to display the sturdiness of the company’s tech, each booth presented a plethora of information to share about what solutions they provided. Some went a bit further than just communications and demonstrated the process flexibility of their tech by displaying how efficiently they could commit 3D sensing. Some provided simpler solutions through their equipment such as a more efficient way for splicing, polishing, and the like. And others presented updated equipment such as smart probes, fiber amplifiers, and lasers, and polarization maintaining fiber optic components

Exploring the exhibit floor a bit more, some presentations took place toward the opposite side of the entrances that caught my eye. I entered a presentation by Yasuhiro Koike from POFTO, the Plastic Optical Fiber Trade Organization, where he was in the middle of mentioning mode coupling due micro-bending in silica GI micromode fibers that were rigorously analyzed via Debye’s excess light-scattering and coupled power theories. From there, he presented a slide displaying a developed coupled power equation from Keio University that was then used for further analysis which then led to the properties of the GI plastic optical fibers. The amount of effort that took place was incredible and evident as Koike further presented finds on optical feedback induced instability.

Proceeding to Exhibit Hall B, there was a particularly interesting and lively area named Poster Sessions. In this area, tall thin bulletin boards stood with posters from companies attached one side containing proposals, experimentations, and solutions. Clusters of people stood in front of the posters engaging in coffee and donut fueled debates on the principles and practicalities of the contents of these posters. The presentation itself was very simple but effective for those that were interested in theoretical discussions and solutions.

To finish the day, I attended a presentation on machine learning, both on an applicable level and a managerial level. The initial stages of the presentation were typical as the presenter first engaged in defining machine learning and when exactly to use it. The arguments presented were that machine learning should and could be used in situations that drive a large number of small scale decisions in which the machine would also benefit as it will create learning patterns. In addition to benefits, the speaker also argued that machine learning solves business problems in a way that other simpler solutions cannot; domain knowledge.

As the next presenter took the stage, we then began to look at machine learning from a managerial perspective. The main focus areas here were presented to be: fault, configuration, performance, security, and then the customer. In addition to that, the presenter claimed that there would be further challenges within each area in order for everything to work, such as network complexity or even the extent of the data sources. As the audience was provided a more in-depth look as to what kind of processes and management is required in order to make machine learning applicable, I could see that look of serious study on the faces of the attendees as some vigorously took notes or pictures whenever they could.

By the time I was ready to leave, I took one last glance around the exhibit floor as well as explored the upper floors. On the upper floor, located in the service corridor, were short courses on various topics along with technical sessions and speaker ready rooms. While I, unfortunately, did not have to time to join any of the sessions that took place on the upper floors, I imagine they would be of interest to anyone who wished to learn more about the tech that was presented on the exhibit floor. Overall, there was a lot to take in. Despite the fact that I was able to learn bits about what kind of processes going on behind the scenes for this kind of technology to work, there was of course far too much going on to absorb everything. Regardless, for anyone that has a deep love for technology or for those that simply wish to share knowledge of these specific areas within the tech industry then OFC is bound to be a great time.

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eddie_face2_500.jpgEddieson Burkhalter | Writing Contributor
B.A | Japanese | San Diego State Univ.
My name is Eddieson. I’m an open minded dreamer that likes to look for new opportunities, experiences, and challenges in life to make things a bit more interesting. After graduating from San Diego State University with a Japanese degree and minor in Business,  I landed an office job in Shinjuku, Japan where I dealt with online marketing matters as well as content creation. Though I come from an international business background I could never escape the alluring call of an emotionally manipulating story, regardless of the medium, that could turn the toughest body builder into a two year old child watching The Muppets and eating “pig newtons”. So long as the story is well done it doesn’t matter to me whether it’s presented as a comic, video game, anime, book, movie, or even an interpretive dance with bananas and jello. After some intense independent study I have not only been more than inspired to join the industry, but brought to a point where I wonder why I gave up pursuing this stuff in college and turned to a course of pulling my hair out before each exam. Regardless, I love stories and hope to be presented with the opportunity to tell my own; most likely through writing. With a fire in my heart and goals set I am actively gaining skills each day to hopefully one day help others in their endeavors as well as achieve my own dreams. |Instagram @BlaEddieBlaView My Articles 

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