Green Optical Communications

Chairs: Rod Tucker, University of Melbourne, Australia; Mario Pickavet, Ghent University – IBBT, Belgium

Abstract
As the volume of data carried on the telecommunications network grows, telecommunications operators continue to expand the size and reach of their networks to accommodate this increased volume of data. In this context, the power consumption and environmental impact of telecommunications networks and data centres has become an issue of increasing engineering importance and environmental concern. The carbon footprint of the telecommunications network is already considerable today and ‘business-as-usual’ forecasts predict about a doubling within one decade. As a consequence, there has been a world-wide increase in research in green aspects of telecommunications.

The objective of this Symposium is to explore some of the key questions in green optical communications and to highlight important research problems. Symposium speakers will address a range of topics, including the challenges in improving the energy efficiency of telecommunications equipment, approaches to ultra-low power optical communications, network architectures, cloud computing, and holistic approaches to considering energy and information flows in telecommunications. Five renowned speakers from various backgrounds will present overviews of these topics and this will be followed by a panel session in which the audience can participate in a lively discussion.

ENERGY-EFFICIENT OPTICS: WHERE AND WHAT FOR?
Dan Kilper, Bell Labs, Alcatel-Lucent, USA
Optical transmission provides efficiency in telecommunication networks through its capacity and scaling benefits. Recent equipment trends coupled with capacity challenges indicate that efficiency improvements are falling behind traffic growth, bringing focus to energy and integration.


HOW CAN OPTICS SUPPORT THE ENERGY EFFICIENCY OF ICT?
Christoph Lange, Andreas Gladisch, Deutsche Telekom AG, Laboratories, Germany
Optical transmission and networking enable structural changes in ICT networks. Directions are discussed of how network architectures relying on optics can support network energy efficiency improvements with regard to different network sections.


OPTICAL PATH TECHNOLOGIES FOR ULTRA-LOW POWER CONSUMING NETWORKS
Hiroshi Ishikawa, National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST), Japan
Optical path technologies are being developed for ultra-low energy consuming networks. Presented are switching devices, dispersion compensation device, node technology, and network resource management technologies. Demonstration of a small scale path system is also presented.


RE-THINKING ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS
Kerry Hinton; University of Melbourne, Australia
Intuitively, one would expect cloud computing to be greener than using desktop PCs and that avoiding optical-to-electronic signal conversion would improve the energy efficiency of telecommunications networks. In this presentation we will scrutinise these two fundamental ideas.

HOLISTIC APPROACH ON ENERGY EFFICIENCY IN GLOBAL COMMUNICATION NETWORKS
Slavisa Aleksic; Vienna University of Technology, Austria
This paper discusses methods to improve energy efficiency in communication networks with emphasis on optical technologies and proposes a holistic approach for treating information and energy flows in and through the global communication network.


PANEL SESSION WITH ALL SPEAKERS


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