ECOC 2000 grows into Europe's largest optical exhibition

TRENDS

By ROBERT PEASE

In its 26th year, the European Conference on Optical Com muni cation (ECOC) expects to double in size from 1999 to become the largest European exhibition of its kind. ECOC 2000 will take place Sept. 3-7 at the Inter national Congress Center in Munich, Germany, drawing companies from more than 17 countries.

Over the past five years, the number of participants and papers has doubled, with approximately 1,500 attendees expected this year. The exhibit floor alone-due to a huge demand for exhibition booth space-has been increased from the original 2,700 square meters to nearly 3,000 square meters. Still, there is a waiting list of companies eager to be a part of the event.

ECOC 2000 will showcase new innovations in optical components, systems technologies, and networks. During the technical program, a series of 29 invited papers, 210 contributed papers, and six tutorials will be offered by industry experts. The plenary session will consist of three papers representing the views of chief executives from telecommunications providers and industry luminaries on the future role of fiber-optic communication networks.

Some of the hottest new technology topics are on this year's agenda, including terabit transoceanic systems, Raman amplifiers, polarization-mode dispersion, micro-electromechanical systems technology, 576x576 switching fabrics, and all-optical networking.

The Internet Protocol world is also expected to have a huge impact on fiber-optic networks and the technologies involved will be emphasized during ECOC 2000. With data traffic, spurred by the Internet's popularity, this is sure to be an informative topic for attendees.

On Sunday, Sept. 3, a series of eight short courses will be presented by leading scientists, along with two workshops. A half-day workshop, from 9 am to 1 pm, will be conducted on the modeling and design of optical networks and systems. This workshop is intended as a forum for researchers to discuss the latest technologies for transport networks. A second workshop will cover optical-layer networking.

Nearly 200 manufacturers and distributors will exhibit products and provide demonstrations during the exhibit floor hours: 11 am to 5:30 pm on Monday; 9:30 am to 8 pm on Tuesday; and 9:30 am to 4 pm on Wednesday.

In recognition of the increasingly tight job market in fiber optics, the show will also feature a dedicated recruitment area that will include recruitment booths and job vacancy boards.

Welcome receptions and a conference buffet will give attendees the opportunity to share information and ideas with colleagues across the industry. The conference adjourns at 4 pm on Thursday.

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