Pluggable Amplifiers
Ian McClean, Product Manager, Coherent

Optical amplifiers are commonly integrated with transmit/receive optics enabling optical signal powers to overcome high modulator losses and to extend reach in both telecom and DCI networks.  Traditional discrete solutions using Erbium Doped Optical Amplifiers or Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers are now being incorporated into pluggable modules either as distinct amplifiers or integrated with transceiver optics and controls supporting disaggregation and reducing equipment complexity. Realising such compact designs within such challenging operating environments requires development of solutions that can be implemented in compact form factors whilst maintaining performance, cost and reliability.  Challenges and solutions are assessed for the primary amplifier technology based on Erbium Doped Fibre.

Photonics integrated circuits: materials and use cases
Zoe Davidson, BT

Future private and public telecommunications networks will be increasingly secure and low power, in addition to developing further in the classical network requirements of higher bandwidth and lower latency. As these demands on the network grow, there will be an increasing need for integrated photonics and quantum technologies. We believe that Photonic Integrated Circuits (PICs) will become a significant technology in the industry, ultimately appearing ubiquitously in network kit in high volumes. An ongoing debate in the development of PICs is the material platform that should be used. There are many candidate materials, but all have their own advantages and disadvantages. This talk will discuss the different material platforms currently proposed for photonic integration, such as GaAs and InP. In addition, we discuss where and how we believe that PICs will be used in a telecommunications network.


Can BDFAs be the next solution for the multi-band transmission beyond C+L-bands?
Aleksandr Donodin, Aston Institute of Photonics Technologies, Aston University

The multi-band transmission (MBT) is currently considered as a short to mid-term solution for increasing the capacity of fibre-optical transmission systems. However, it involves a significant upgrade of current networks with novel optical components facilitating smooth performance beyond C and L bands. One of the most crucial elements of long-haul and regional networks is an optical amplifier.

The number of doped fibre media operating beyond C- and L- bands have been reported. Unlike many other active dopants, Bi active centres allow a broadband amplification in the spectral range from 1150 to 1700 nm.  Such spectral flexibility, the recent advances in development of bismuth-doped fibre amplifiers (BDFA), and their implementation in coherent transmission make them one of the most promising amplification tools for the MBT. In this talk, the recent advances on the development of the BDFAs are discussed, and the potential routes of network upgrade with developed BDFAs are analysed.


Advances in High Performance Optical Switches
Nick Parsons, HUBER+SUHNER

As the complexity and throughput of communications and datacentre networks continues to advance, optical circuit switch technologies become increasingly attractive for transparent routing of high line-rate traffic, avoiding the energy consumption and opacity of optoelectronic conversion.   Optical switching devices bring the fibre layer directly under software control and are a key enabler towards full network automation.
Over the past couple of decades, high port-density optical circuit switches have been exploited in a diverse range of systems where dynamic fibre connectivity is needed, from test automation to disaggregated computing, datacentre and quantum networks.  Performance, cost and reliability has now matured to the extent that the technology is poised for wide-scale deployment in optical networks.  In this talk, we review recent advances in high port-density optical circuit switches and highlight some emerging applications.