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It is no surprise that Artificial Intelligence and short reach optics were the talk of the show. The Optica Executive forum featured little content or discussion outside of datacenter optics. At least twice the usual number of investors roamed OFC’s halls in search of information that might justify assigning (or not) some of the exuberant valuations floating around optical companies at the periphery of the AI revolution. The keen enthusiasm for datacom optics eclipsed interest in telecom despite widespread demos of 800ZR.

Excitement over AI, the necessary innovation to support it, and the demand for modules to build it was a big part of Cignal AI’s discussions. We came away more positive in our 2024 datacom unit forecasts. But the prospects for a telecom recovery remained fuzzy, with most vendors conceding that recovery will not happen until 2025, as traditional service providers are not yet spending.

This is a summary of how OFC 2024 and the conversations we had there shaped our thoughts. It is not meant to be a comprehensive list of announcements and news.

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