Industry Awards mark second day of ECOC Exhibition 2020 with inaugural ceremony

Innovation and excellence in the optical connections industry were commended today at ECOC Exhibition 2020 as it welcomed the winners of its first ever awards programme during its 25th Annual event.

Photonic integration has been identified as a path to lower cost, lower power consumption, and higher throughput. Silicon photonics is at the centre of this debate, but, as VP of Marketing Tom Williams told us as he accepted the award for Optical integration (Siph and/or other) on behalf of Acacia, the industry wasn’t initially convinced it was compatible with coherent applications. Williams said the vision of Acacia in silicon photonics technology – the company is involved in 3D siliconization technology – is a big impetus for the their success in the field.

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.

For the industry-wide Most Innovative Product award, Infinera took home the prize. Awarded to a new product that is driving change in its respective market segment, the winner needed to be a timely product that’s helping to increase the use of optics. Dave Welch, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Infinera, told us how the company’s offerings do just that during his acceptance speech.

II-VI scooped the Data Center Innovation / Best Product award, a broad-based category

for products such as patch panels, switches, transceivers, servers, fiber that demonstrate lower cost, lower power consumption, thermal management, and commercial viability. Dr Sanjai Parthasarathi, CMO, accepted the award on behalf of II-VI, thanking the panel for recognising the company’s innovation and saying it was a “significant” win for them.

Huawei‘s AI-Enhanced AirPON solution is the industry’s first end-to-end FTTH fast construction solution, winning the award for Innovative FTTx Product.

Here’s a full list of the winners:

  • Optical integration (Siph and/or other) – Acacia
  • Optical Transport – Ciena
  • Most Innovative Product – Infinera
  • Data Center Innovation / Best Product – II-VI
  • Innovative FTTx Product – Huawei

The Market Focus action continued for a second day, kicking off with a IHP GmbH deep-dive in to Innovations for High Performance Microelectronics. That was followed by a Sicoya presentation which explored a paradigm shift in the optical communication market. Speaker Sven Otte explored the challenges and new technical and business requirements for optical component vendors in an era of exponential data growth driven by mobile broadband, and how an industry shift from ‘Transceivers to Highly Integrated Co-package Optics enabled by Silicon Photonics’ is likely.

Insight from Inphi, Source Photonics, and Lightwave Logic amongst others carried the conversation forward throughout the afternoon, with topics such as 800G, lessons from the first 5G mobile network deployments, and datacentres and cloud computing filling up the day’s conversation.

We look forward to welcoming you back again tomorrow for the final day of ECOC Exhibition 2020. Our Market Focus sessions start at 12pm CET and the Product Focus sessions at 12.55pm CET.

As ever, make sure you and your companies interact with us on our social media platforms. You can reach us on Twitter @Ecoc_Exhibition, Facebook at and LinkedIn at and Instagram @ecoc_exhibition.


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