11 February 2011

Infinera co-founder Welch to receive 2011 John Tyndall Award

Infinera Corp of Sunnyvale, CA, USA, a vertically integrated manufacturer of digital optical network systems incorporating its own indium phosphide-based photonic integrated circuits (PICs), says that its co-founder, executive VP & chief strategy officer Dr David F. Welch has been awarded the 2011 John Tyndall Award by The Optical Society (OSA) and IEEE Photonics Society for “seminal contributions to photonic integrated circuits and semiconductor lasers deployed in fiber-optic communication systems around the world”.

Welch will be presented with the award during the plenary session of the 2011 Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition/National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (OFC/NFOEC) at the Los Angeles Convention Center (6–10 March).

The Tyndall Award recognizes Welch’s contributions to the optical communication systems field, including his role in the development and manufacture of PICs, the development and commercialization of high-power semiconductor lasers, high-efficiency Nd:YAG lasers, fiber lasers and amplifiers, and devices associated with non-linear optical materials. In addition, Welch was also heavily involved in the development of materials and fabrication techniques used in semiconductor laser systems.

Welch co-founded Infinera in 2001. The firm’s goal was the development of large-scale PICs integrating multiple dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) channels on a single chip (a vision that was viewed as impossible or impractical by many others in the industry at that time, Infinera says). In 2004, Infinera launched its first product: the Infinera DTN, a long-haul and metro DWDM optical system based on 100Gbps PICs. By 2006, Infinera was number one in the long-haul DWDM market in North America, according to independent analyst reports. The firm plans to begin shipping its next generation of PICs, with data capacity of 500Gbps per chip, in 2012.

Welch received his BSEE from the University of Delaware and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Cornell University. He then went on to Spectra Diode Labs (SDL), where he worked as a research scientist and eventually VP of research. As chief technology officer and VP for corporate development at SDL, he was responsible for the development of laser and optical technologies as well as the execution of six corporate acquisitions. In 2001, SDL and JDS Uniphase merged in what was then the largest ever technology acquisition. Welch has more than 250 published articles and 125 patents to his name. He received the Adolph Lomb Award from OSA in 1992, the Engineering Achievement Award from LEOS in 1998, and the OSA Joseph Fraunhofer/Robert M. Burley Award in 1999. He is also a fellow of the OSA and IEEE, and serves on the board of directors of OSA and the board of directors of Infinera.

First presented in 1987, the Tyndall Award recognizes an individual who has made pioneering, highly significant, or continuing technical or leadership contributions to fiber-optics technology. Corning Inc endows the award (a glass sculpture that represents the concept of total internal reflection). The award is named for the 19th century scientist who was first to demonstrate the phenomenon of internal reflection.

Tags: Infinera

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