For the fifth year of our optical communications technology recognition program, we decided to try something new. As always, we invited technology developers to submit products in various technology categories for review by our independent panel of judges in time for OFC. In some cases, that brought entries for products that will be introduced at this year's show.
Lightwave Editorial Director Stephen Hardy, in his role as Award Program Manager, assigned each entry to be reviewed by judges knowledgeable in the relevant technology or application. As was the case in previous years, they rated each entry on the following scale:
0-1: Useful product, yet commodity
2-3: Solid product with viable attributes
3-4: Excellent product with technical features and performance that provide clear and substantial benefits
4-5: Superb product that sets new standard for performance and provides groundbreaking and new technical milestones.
Our panel included:
- Robert Blum, director, strategic marketing and business development, Intel Corp.
- Brandon Collings, CTO, Optical Communications, CCOP, Lumentum
- Jorg-Peter Elbers, SVP, advanced technology, standards and IPR, ADVA Optical Networking
- Mike Frankel, Ciena Fellow, Ciena
- Jim Hayes, president, The Fiber Optic Association
- Tom Issenhuth, principal at Issenhuth Consulting
- Peter Jones, Principal Engineer, Cisco
- Vladimir Kozlov, founder and CEO, LightCounting
- Patrick McLaughlin, editor in chief, Cabling Installation & Maintenance
- Rick Talbot, president, Telecommunications Solutions
- Jim Theodoras, marketing consultant and industry veteran
- Matt Traverso, Principal Engineer, Cisco
- Ken Williams, Cable Industry Consultant at PRG
- Dr. Tiejun J. (TJ) Xia, Distinguished Member of Technical Staff, Verizon
Now, here’s the twist: Rather than release those scores and congratulate those who achieved Elite Score status as we’ve done in the past, this year we’re playing for keeps. The scores are being kept secret for the time being – because this year the top scoring entry in each category will be named a 2018 Lightwave Innovation Reviews winner!
We’ll announce those winners at a reception at OFC, on March 14. In the meantime, we salute this year's participants for being brave enough to submit their products for review. And we congratulate the following companies for achieving Finalist status!