Director, Facebook

 Katharine Schmidtke


Dr. Katharine Schmidtke is Director of Sourcing for ASICs and Custom Silicon at Facebook, the world’s largest social network and one of the five largest hyperscale-datacenter operators in worldwide. In this role she directs sourcing strategy for Facebook’s inference and video transcoding ASICs, and next generation interconnect technology. Over the past five years she has led Facebook’s Optical Technology strategy and is known for fostering collaboration in the optoelectronics industry and supporting open innovation. She does this through a number of industry forums ranging in scale from small gatherings of her industry peers, to large meetings such as the Open Compute Project (OCP). She worked closely with OCP to specify the 100G-CWDM4-OCP optical transceiver optimized for data center applications and recently formed a Joint Development Forum with Microsoft to define the future of co-packaged optics. Katharine obtained a Ph.D. in non-linear optics from Southampton University in the UK and completed post-doctoral research at Stanford University. She has over 25 years’ experience in the Opto-Electronics industry including strategic roles at; New Focus, JDSU Uniphase, and Finisar Corporation.