The Next Big Thing in Integrated Photonics Will be 5G—for Low Latency
What's the next big thing for integrated photonics after telecom, datacom, and the recent activity in LIDAR? If 5G turns out to be as big as proponents suggest it will be, integrated photonics will be needed to support low-latency applications like augmented reality and driverless cars. This was a key finding from the OIDA Workshop on Scalable Integrated Photonics for 5G and IoT, held last month at OFC.
5G promises to be more than the next version of LTE and other 4th generation wireless technologies. Proponents say that 5G will be a universal connection, stitching together diverse technologies rather than supplanting them; LTE, WiFi, and Bluetooth will remain in the field even as 5G is rolled out for nearer-term fixed-wireless applications.
Pushing 5G wireless bandwidth to the mainstream and mobile end-users will require massive investments in optical networking to reach deep into the access network. The math is daunting: greater data rates (by 10-100X) and higher density per square kilometer (by 100X) at the same cost to the user. This means new solutions, like using RF-over-fiber, and lots of fiber. Claudio Mazzali reported that Corning expects 5G to require installation of 2 billion kilometer-miles of fiber in the next few years, as much as all the fiber installed into networks up to now.
The greatest challenge is low latency: it needs to be much less than 1 msec from handset to the radio cloud center (RCC) and back, with most of the millisecond reserved for software processing. Integrated photonics might help by processing analog RF at lower cost than an equivalent network using electronics or discrete photonics.
The workshop also pondered the question of adopting standards to reduce manufacturing costs and accelerate deployment of integrated photonics. It's a popular view, especially in Europe. The U.S. view seems to be that standards are good for customers but not as good for new product development. One panelist suggested standardizing on fewer process flows, or on something as simple as the SOI substrate thickness. However, one U.S. attendee replied that it's still too early, that the industry isn't done innovating on the substrates yet. And consultant Jan Vardeman said that she expects more proprietary co-design of packages with customers, like how Apple co-designed board technology with TSMC for its iPhones to gain a competitive advantage in its handset design.
The workshop was held on 18 March in San Diego, collocated with OFC 2018. It is the 8th workshop that OIDA has hosted with CIAN, the NSF center headquartered at the University of Arizona. This year's workshop was sponsored by Go!Foton, AIM Photonics, and PIXAPP, the European photonic packaging pilot line.
|TSMC's InFO package for Apple iPhone 7 next to a U.S. dime. Source: TSMC.
OIDA Sensors Forum: Follow the Money
Trickle-down investment from the "Apple economy" is driving opportunities for optics companies in applications from driverless cars to augmented reality, Internet of Things, and much more. This is not limited to Apple, of course, but is thanks to many familiar giants in consumer-facing products and services: Apple, Amazon, Facebook (and Oculus), Google (and Waymo), Microsoft, Samsung, Uber, and many others. And then there are the traditional OEMs and their suppliers, such as Ford, GM, Bosch, and others. But with this tsunami of optical sensor opportunities coming, is the industry ready to deliver?
The new opportunities are larger in scale than what many optics suppliers are used to. Vincent Lin of ASE said in OIDA's March workshop that volume production to ASE is a million units a day. Such volumes in photonics are found only in consumer products made in Asia, such as displays, LEDs, and smartphone camera modules. The emerging opportunities are also a step up in sophistication compared to incumbent technologies. For example, LIDAR has been in field use since the invention of the laser in the 1960s for applications from aerial mapping to MRI machines. But driverless cars require faster data acquisition at the reliability and prices suitable for a mass consumer market.
The optics industry has delivered Apple iPhone face recognition technology, and that's just the beginning. AR headsets pose their own intriguing applications, challenging technical hurdles, and market risks. The auto industry is infamous as a relentlessly demanding customer, but OEMs and suppliers are searching for technologies that can set them apart or that they can keep out of the hands of competitors.
These new opportunities and challenges will be the focus of OIDA Executive Forum on the Exploding Role of Optics in Sensing, to be held 14 May in San Jose, collocated with CLEO 2018. The forum will emphasize the perspectives from the investors and end-product makers, from Microsoft and Samsung Ventures to startup Prophesee and contract manufacturer Fabrinet. Come to the OIDA Executive Forum in San Jose! You can find more information here.
Planning for the Next Decade at Photonics21
The big news at the Photonics21 Annual Meeting on 8-9 March in Brussels, Belgium was that the European Commission budget for the upcoming Framework Programme 9 (FP9) may be altered to merge photonics and electronics into one Key Enabling Technology, or KET, while adding a new KET for artificial intelligence. There is special funding for KETs, and photonics scored a victory in 2009 when photonics was selected to be its own KET amongst six total. Merging the two KETs might not reduce the total budget, but it would mean competing for project funding with a larger group of tech companies that includes giants such as ASML, Infineon and STMicroelectronics. The FP9 R&D budget will be announced in May 2018, and funding will span 2021-2027.
The threatened merger of KETs may be a sign that photonics is still not branded well enough at the higher levels of the European Commission, even though the Photonics21 community has been organized and has marketed itself well. E.U. Director of Digital Industry Lucilla Sioli recognized photonics as "one of the best and most efficient contractual PPPs [public-private partnerships] we have ever seen in the Commission." The threatened merger may also reflect the Commission's intent of avoiding legacy entitlement programs to stay focused on strategic goals.
Meanwhile, the feeling about the looming exit of the U.K. from the E.U. is that the U.K. and E.U. research collaborations cannot continue without each other, and that some accommodation will have to be made to include the U.K. in European projects. Switzerland offers a model for this; it is allowed to participate in E.U. projects if it pays its own way, even though Switzerland is not an E.U. member.
Apart from the budget concerns, the thrust of the meeting was focused as much as ever on the working groups, which provide an opportunity for members to brainstorm and advocate for various projects to be co-funded through the European Commission photonics unit. The working groups propose projects, which the Photonics21 Board of Stakeholders down-selects to a shorter list for E.U. unit approval.
The Photonics21 Annual Meeting is held every year in Brussels. It has also been promoted as the European Photonics Summit and the #next_photonics.forum.
Welcome New OIDA (OSA Industry Development Associates) Members
Savings End 30 April. Join Industry Leaders at OIDA Executive Forum for a Unique Discussion on the Optical Sensors Market
14 May 2018, San Jose, California, USA, Collocated with CLEO
Register by 30 April and Save!
Optical sensors are critical to market segments such as mobility and automation, Big Data and AI. Will you be ready to capitalize on the massive opportunities being created in these product areas? This full day event will match applications leaders needing new solutions with early-stage technologies in a range of sectors, spanning consumer to industrial markets. While the ultimate activity is "matchmaking" the emphasis will be on the end-product vendors' needs and investor perspectives. This event will be an industry game-changer, with quality content and top-tier speakers.
Attend and hear speakers from Microsoft, Samsung, Loup Ventures, Lumentum, and others. View the program. OIDA Members receive discounted registration. Space is limited at this event.
Download the OFC 2018 Post-show Report
Based on the breadth and depth of the conversations and presentations from the whole optical communications supply chain, the report concludes with an outlook for 2018 — setting the stage for the coming year. Read this report, share it with colleagues and save it for reference. After you've read about OFC, make plans to exhibit in 2019!
||This new state-of-the-art analysis reflects the industry marketplace right now. Read this 30-page complimentary report and get in-depth coverage of trending market topics and product announcements at OFC 2018:
- Consolidation Buzz
- Compact Modular Equipment and Hardware Disaggregation
- Operator Perspectives
- Coherent Technology
- 400G Inside the Data Center
Marcus Weldon, President, Nokia Bell Labs, said "We love OFC. It's such an interesting conference because of the trade floor, where we show products, but its also got this very strong academic, intellectual component. It's 15,000 people. We think it's on the way back to being the 40,000 it was at its peak because of the importance of optical networking going forward. And it just gets bigger and bigger for us."
Public Relations Recap
We hope you had a successful OFC 2018 and that you took advantage of the show's free PR opportunities. This year, we had an impressive show with more than 15,500 attendees and 700+ exhibitors from 75 countries.
Don't wait to start your OFC 2019 planning early! The OFC PR Team will begin its series of Exhibitor PR Newsletters in December 2018. Make sure that you register your PR/Marketing contacts to receive important information about PR programs and deadlines. And, don't forget that OIDA members receive a discount on all news releases distributed over Business Wire. We're here to help; please contact the OFC PR Team with any questions you might have.
- OFC has been on a steep growth trajectory over the last three years, increasing in overall square footage by 44% and experiencing a 21% growth in exhibitors and attendees.
- Exhibitors distributed 133 news releases highlighting their announcements and show participation.
Spring into Summer with the Perfect Job or Internship Candidates at WORKinOPTICS.com, the Global Talent Hub for Optics & Photonics
As warmer days are on the horizon, the job market is also beginning to heat up. It's a perfect time to fill your job and internship openings. Many organizations are eager to lock in new hires before summer, when vacations often make it more difficult to efficiently move through the hiring process. WORKinOPTICS.com is your best global resource. Visit today and reach quality candidates who are looking for positions right now.
Post your job openings - viewed by an average of 645 job seekers. Search and recruit from more than 1,800 qualified job seekers. OIDA Members get 20 free job postings!
The OSAF Launches 2nd Year Innovation School for Photonics
Professionals 22-26 July 2018
Successful companies harness the entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial spirit within their employees and leverage it for greater success. The next Innovation School will be held from 22-26 July in Washington DC, USA. During this 4-day bootcamp, participants will learn the key methodologies for discovering, developing and launching innovative solutions and products; have opportunities to meet and collaborate with peers; and gain invaluable experience working directly with mentors from industry. This hands-on program is perfect for professionals seeking to participate in the innovation economy — as an innovator in their company. If your company is interested in sending an employee to experience this professional development opportunity in 2018, use this link to register osa.org/innovation.
John Dexheimer, LightWave Advisors, Inc. who served as a speaker and pitch panel judge last year said "The Innovation School fills a much needed role in the optics and photonics community as it indoctrinates attendees with practical business and entrepreneurship techniques they can use to drive innovation at their companies."
The Optical Society Headquarters, 2010 Massachusetts Avenue, NW Washington, DC, USA
$1,650 USD (includes housing) For more information or to register, please visit osa.org/innovation
||Exhibit at FiO to Connect with Customers, Educate Your Team and Grow Your Business!
Science & Industry Showcase, FiO's Enhanced Exhibition: 18-19 September, Washington, D.C., USA
The 2018 OSA Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science APS/DLS conference is offering special exhibit discounts to OIDA Members.
This year's event is expecting over 1,200 attendees, and will be focused on 4 key rapidly evolving and expanding markets: Automotive, Nanophotonics and Plasmonics, Quantum Technologies, and Virtual Reality and Augmented Vision.
The exhibitor prospectus is now available. Download it now to learn more about the event and how your company can benefit from exhibiting.
Call for Nominations — OSA Awards & Medals
OSA Awards and Medals span all areas of optics and photonics, as well as contributions made to the community, education, and industry. Take advantage of this opportunity to recognize the achievements of the engineers, business leaders, inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs. Learn more.
2018 March for Science Shirts are Still Available!
The Optical Society Foundation (OSAF) created the laser cat iteration of "Don't Mess With Science We Have Lasers" t-shirt for the March for Science that was held on April 14. This popular t-shirt is a nod to a "state of quantum super-felin-ition" that will ensure that no one messes with science... or you! 50% of the proceeds go towards the OSA Foundation programs which create a diverse and inclusive environment helping career scientists and engineers succeed in the field of optics and photonics. Get your t-shirt today before they sell out!
Invitation to Join the Optics and Photonics Industry LinkedIn Group
Join 3,000+ of your colleagues in our Optics & Photonics Industry Network LinkedIn Group. This one-of-a-kind Forum for Industry lets you participate in discussions about cutting-edge issues. Extend your professional network. Exchange information about problems, ideas and solutions. Collaborate with experts in your field. Now is the perfect time to build a relationship with fellow optics and photonics professionals!
Take advantage of your OIDA (OSA Industry Development Associates) Member Benefits
We are committed to ensuring the value of your OSA Industry Development Associates Membership, so please email OIDA if you have any suggestions for new programs or comments on your membership.
Forward this message to your colleagues.
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|OIDA (OSA Industry Development Associates) Council
Thank you to the volunteers who oversee the programs and services available to the Industry Community.
| • Claudio Mazzali,
Corning, Inc., Chair
• Alex Fong,
TruTag Technologies, Inc.,
• John Dexheimer,
|• Amy Eskilson,
• Christoph Harder,
Harder and Partner
• Fred Leonberger,
| • Inge Kabert,
• Martin Seifert
• Debbie Wilson,