At last, the new millennium

W. Conard Holton

Associated Publisher/Editor in Chief

Technically, January 2001 marks the real start of the third millennium. Yet rather than fill this space with dazzling predictions of dubious value, I`ll simply introduce some of the new features we`ve added and assure you that we`ll do our best to keep up with-and sometimes anticipate-the technologies and applications of a rapidly changing industry.

One piece of good news is that WDM Solutions will be published ten times this year, excluding only August and December. To add more variety and value, two new regular technical features will appear. The first, a series by fiberoptic educators and consultants at The Light Brigade, will provide a starting point for understanding and evaluating a specific WDM technology. This issue highlights nonzero-dispersion-shifted fiber.

The second regular feature is an updated version of the "Back to Basics" series on fiberoptics that has run in Laser Focus World. The series, written by contributing editor Jeff Hecht and based on his book Understanding Fiber Optics, has long been a favorite of readers because of its straightforward introduction to the subject matter. Fundamentals of guided-wave technology are discussed here.

We`ve also added "Talking Technology,"` a series of regular interviews with leaders in WDM technology. I think you`ll find the first discussion with Steve Alexander, chief technology officer of Ciena Corp., as fascinating as I do. Alexander provides considerable insight into the component technologies behind his company`s success and offers food for thought to others developing the innards of WDM systems.

If I had to identify a theme for the other technical articles in this issue, I`d say it`s the measurement and control of light. This theme runs from our cover story on spectral equalization, written by Allan Ashmead of DigiLens, to articles on measuring polarization-dependent loss by John Kim at Rifocs and designing with micro-optics by Wallace Latimer at Edmund Industrial Optics. In addition, Jean-Jacques Petiote at ExceLight Communications expands on a subject introduced in the November issue, coarse WDM.

If you want additional insight into the course of things to come, attend the Laser Focus World annual Laser and Optoelectronics Marketplace Seminar, with its increased emphasis on fiberoptics. Speakers from Cisco Systems and Intel Capital will address the technology and financing of optical communications, respectively, and market analyst firms Strategies Unlimited and KMI will describe the strengths of the laser-diode and fiber-infrastructure markets. The seminar will be held Jan. 22, in conjunction with Photonics West in San Jose, CA. For more information visit

I think the new millennium is off to a rousing start!

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