ECOC 2020 award winners announced

Created December 16, 2020
News and Business

Winners of the inaugural ECOC 2020 awards celebrating 25 years of the ECOC exhibition, were announced on 8th December at the virtual expo. The awards emphasise technology and product commercialisation; they highlight significant achievements in advancing the business of optical communications, transport, networking, fibre-based products, photonic integration circuits and related developments. The committee has reviewed the progress of advanced technologies from research to commercialisation including volume production as well as new and innovative products. The awards run in conjunction with Optical Connections magazine. The winners are as follows:





Category: Most Innovative Product

Winner: Infinera, XR Optics

When it was first introduced almost a year ago, Infinera’s XR Optics technology was hailed as a game-changer, as it has the potential to completely redefine fibre optic network architecture. It is the industry’s first point-to-multipoint coherent optical subcarrier aggregation technology optimised for hub-and-spoke traffic patterns.

On receiving the award, Infinera’s founder and chief innovation officer David Welch said, “ECOC is a body that represents predominantly the technical community, but also the commercial community. And so, when they when they stand up and say this technology is deserving of recognition, due to its innovation, and presumably that infers the innovation and the impact that can have on the on the total fibre optic communications network. We’re humbled and proud of the recognition from that community, they represent the technical leaders in this industry.”

See the full interview here.

Category: Optical Integration (SiPh and/or other)

Winner Acacia, 3D Siliconisation

The SiPh award went to Acacia for its 3D siliconisation technology, which the company is using to drive development of its coherent, pluggable modules. Acacia’s new 100G coherent DWDM modules leverage the company’s 3D Siliconisation approach, which utilises high-volume manufacturing. The 100G coherent point-to-point and DWDM pluggable solutions were designed to meet the form factor, low power consumption and cost requirements that edge and access providers need to scale their networks in the future.

“For more than a decade, Acacia has been executing on its vision to unleash the full potential of silicon technology in optical interconnects and this award is a testament to our efforts,” said Tom Williams, vice president of marketing at Acacia Communications. “By utilising our 3D Siliconisation technology, Acacia has been able to move beyond traditional optics manufacturing, utilising semiconductor processes that are designed to enable these 400G coherent pluggable modules to scale to address higher-volume applications.”

See the full interview here.

Category: Optical Transport,

Winner: Ciena, WaveLogic 5

The ceremony welcomed Ciena’s Helen Xenos to accept the award for Optical Transport which recognises innovative use of electronics and software to enable more competitive photonics solutions in the optical network. Xenos highlighted the industry first programmable 800G coherent solution, Ciena’s WaveLogic 5, and its ability to enable network providers to scale networks for higher capacity and save costs. See the full interview here.

Category: Best Product, Data Centre Innovation

Winner: II-VI, POLS platform

“We are excited to win the ECOC 2020 Industry Award, especially in the very broad category of best product for datacenter innovation,” said Dr. Sanjai Parthasarathi, Chief Marketing Officer, II-VI Incorporated. “The POLS platform is the first product of its kind on the market and leverages significant breakthroughs in the areas of miniaturising optical components for amplification and wavelength management, while simultaneously improving performance and reducing power consumption.”

II-VI’s POLS platform, which was initially announced in March 2020, plugs directly into a datacenter interconnect (DCI) switch port and enables full-duplex multichannel 400ZR transport, including multiplexing, demultiplexing, and variable-gain amplification. The first product on the POLS platform, the OSFP-LS, supports up to 8 DWDM wavelengths, or 3.2 Tbps per fibre pair. The OSFP-LS, a disaggregated subsystem, can be incorporated into both branded OEM and white box solutions.

Category: Most Innovative FTTx Product

Winner: Huawei, AirPON

At a time when the focus is on rolling out FTTx as fast as possible, a solution  which makes roll-out more efficient and Huawei’s AI-Enhanced AirPON solution is the industry’s first end-to-end FTTH fast construction solution including 4 key components: the blade OLT, Digital&Quick ODN, eAI(embedded Artificial Intelligence) ONT, and cloud-native management platform iMaster NCE(Network Cloud Engine). Thanks to its unique innovations in helping mobile operators quickly build fixed networks and broadband networks that deliver a premium experience. Huawei says it will keep promoting the full-fibre access broadband industry with continuous innovation.

Congratulations go to our winners from the ECOC and Optical Connections teams and don’t forget, if you haven’t already attended our virtual event, you still have time to join your colleagues, customers and peers. Simply click this link and enter your 5-digit badge ID reference and complete your profile to start networking. If you haven’t registered, you can still join us by signing up here and you will receive your 5-digit code by email.


This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.