Roadmap of optical communications
© 2016 IOP Publishing Ltd. Lightwave communications is a necessity for the information age. Optical links provide enormous bandwidth, and the optical fiber is the only medium that can meet the modern society's needs for transporting massive amounts of data over long distances. Applications range from global high-capacity networks, which constitute the backbone of the internet, to the massively parallel interconnects that provide data connectivity inside datacenters and supercomputers. Optical communications is a diverse and rapidly changing field, where experts in photonics, communications, electronics, and signal processing work side by side to meet the ever-increasing demands for higher capacity, lower cost, and lower energy consumption, while adapting the system design to novel services and technologies. Due to the interdisciplinary nature of this rich research field, Journal of Optics has invited 16 researchers, each a world-leading expert in their respective subfields, to contribute a section to this invited review article, summarizing their views on state-of-the-art and future developments in optical communications.