The Ethernet Alliance returns to OFC 2022 – Post Covid19

By David Rodgers


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DAVID RODGERS
Ethernet Alliance Board Member, Events and Conferences Chair
Business Development Manager, High-Speed Serial Solutions, EXFO
It’s February 2022 and the Ethernet Alliance Events Team and participating members are actively preparing for the return of in-person trade show attendance, specifically for this year’s Optical Fibre Conference in San Diego. The last time we all came together for a hot-stage in preparation of the OFC festivities was back in February of 2020. Seventeen member companies had landed in Milpitas, CA to bring together their wares for creating the annual working demonstration of all things Ethernet. Then everything stopped…

Live in our OFC booth in 2019
It’s been over two years since the last live in-person Ethernet Alliance show with our member interop demonstration at the 2019 European Conference on Optical Communication in Dublin, Ireland. The Ethernet Alliance sponsored interoperability demonstration was a hit at the ECOC Conference, thanks to our participating members.

OFC ’21 was a virtual affair only, but the Ethernet Alliance was undeterred and produced a virtual interoperability event with live video captures of the entire build and the final product. Although the required effort was adapted to meet the challenge and the results were similar, there is nothing like all the engineers and technicians working together side by side, setting up a full rack of members’ equipment showcasing the latest Ethernet technologies to a live, in-person audience.

With a return to a live OFC in March 2022, the Ethernet Alliance and its 15 participating members have risen to the challenge again to showcase a live interoperability demonstration in booth #5409. The stakes and speeds are higher this time too.

Another look at the past as we get ready for OFC 2022!
Unlike the previous years’ hot-stage events, the lingering effects of Omicron concerns and physical access controls required we adapt and overcome, and the Ethernet Alliance was unable to secure a common location for the host stage. The Ethernet Alliance Tech leads came to the rescue by compartmentalizing elements of the bigger build and member companies stepped up to host and construct these components. The team will assemble in San Diego the weekend before the show to complete the integration of the build, including the live OFC show fibre network. Back by popular demand, the Alliance will have live, high-speed fibre interconnects within the booth and across the exposition hall with partners!

The interop demonstration this year will feature the latest in products, services, test tools, and interconnect options, supporting both legacy and emerging high-speed Ethernet solutions. The updated Ethernet Roadmap for 2022 will also make its debut at OFC, focusing on new developments ushering inn the next Ethernet rate and the emergence of Ethernet in even more essential applications.

If you’re planning to attend, please join us in OFC booth #5409 to talk with industry experts from our member companies, review the latest and greatest in the #NextEthernetEra in the interop demo, and to say “hello”. I for one am really looking forward to the return to a live show. Hope to see you there!

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