Buoyant Moods from CES and the Laser Focus Marketplace
The mood was exuberant at the Laser Focus World Marketplace Seminar on 26 January in San Francisco, affirming OIDA's expectation for another 4-5% growth across the entire optics and photonics industry. There is a rising tide: customers are spending in multiple sectors. That it's a new year and the weather was perfect didn't hurt either.
This was also the feeling at CES 2018, which brought over 180,000 people to Las Vegas in early January. Samsung showed its new emissive bezel-free micro-LED display that can be tiled seamlessly across a wall. Samsung believes that micro-LED is the future, and it follows on recent innovations in quantum dot LED displays and organic LED displays. This illustrates how much innovation is still happening in our field.
Left: Chuck Mattera (II-VI Incorporated). Right: Conard Holton (Laser Focus World).
The "Apple economy" is injecting a massive stimulus into our sector, from VCSELs for face recognition to lasers for LIDAR, AR/VR headsets, autonomous vehicles, and much more. This doesn't refer to just Apple, of course, but also spending by Microsoft, Google, Facebook, Amazon, Alibaba, and others that trickles down to our industry. At CES, Microsoft displayed a law enforcement vehicle fitted with cameras and sensors to load information to the cloud. Google spinoff Sidewalk Labs talked about its vision for smart cities.
China continues to be both an eager customer and a rising competitor in our industry. At the LFW Marketplace, Bo Gu pointed out that China already manufactures the most cars in the world. Chinese laser manufacturers are growing at 10-30% per year in revenues, according to Gu, which will likely take some market share from leading U.S. suppliers.
Allen Nogee reported that the laser market reached $12.4 billion in 2017, and is forecasting 5% growth for 2018. A few large companies have captured much of the growth. II-VI Incorporated's revenues have grown nearly 16% compounded annually over the last 10 years, and Chuck Mattera of II-VI Incorporated highlighted that 7% of that growth is organic, with the rest from acquisitions.
It's not just product that's selling, but the time is also good for selling companies. Coherent's acquisition of Rofin-Sinar in 2016 stands out for its size, but this fall, Ford's Argo AI bought Princeton Lightwave and GM's Cruise Automation bought Strobe, two LIDAR companies from the optics community. We expect several more in 2018.
There are the usual questions about the coming year. Apple announced shortly after the LFW Marketplace that it was cutting production of its new iPhone X. Chinese laser manufacturers like Han's Lasers are aiming to make more of its own lasers and take market share from U.S. suppliers. Some capital-intensive sectors, such as display manufacturing, have their inevitable capital spending cycles. Even in these good times, some companies have quietly made surgical cuts in staff. And by Friday, the U.S. employment report sent the stock market down.
But the mood so far this year has been as good as it gets, and without that giddy "it's too good to be true" feeling from the telecom bubble days. This is a healthy market spanning multiple sectors, a favorable auspice for the rest of the year.
The U.S. Solar Panel Tariff—Winners and Losers
Last month, the U.S. government announced a tariff on imports of solar cells and panels, with the claim that it "would benefit U.S. producers, workers, and consumers." Tariffs are presumed to protect domestic manufacturers and associated jobs, at some acceptable cost to downstream customers and end-users, who pay higher prices. An examination from a recent OSA Optics & Photonics News article suggests that this tariff is more complicated than that.
The tariff stemmed from cases brought by two bankrupt U.S. solar panel manufacturers, Suniva and Solar World Americas. Ironically, both companies are nominally U.S.-based but owned by foreign firms. Suniva is majority-owned by Shunfeng International Clean Energy Ltd., a company based in China, the main country targeted by the tariff.
The Obama administration had imposed a similar tariff on solar panels from China in 2012, responding to claims of selling panels at prices below the manufacturing cost by government-subsidized Chinese firms. But some observers argue that the damage to the U.S. industry for conventional Si-based solar cells has already been done, and the four-year window on the tariff is too short to stimulate meaningful investment to resuscitate U.S. production. The Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) notes that only 2,000 of 38,000 U.S. manufacturing jobs are in panel manufacture; most are in ancillary products such as inverters, concentrators, and trackers. And, the tariff doesn't promote innovation, such as in perovskite technology, to regain market share from Asian companies.
Stock prices for two U.S. solar manufacturers went in different directions following the tariff announcement. First Solar stock was mostly unchanged while SunPower stock continued down. First Solar makes thin-film solar cells, which are not covered by the tariff. SunPower is based in the U.S. but has manufacturing facilities in the Philippines and China, and may have to pay the tariff on panels brought to the U.S.
Meanwhile, the tariff may drive up prices for U.S.-based installers and consumers, although the panel is only about 1/3 of the total solar installation cost, including labor. The SEIA estimates the loss of 23,000 U.S. jobs this year in solar-related manufacturing and installation due to the tariff. Others argue that the downstream effects of the tariff will be less dramatic, in part because Chinese suppliers already moved a lot of stock in the U.S. prior to the announcement. Prices may not increase significantly, but cost reductions expected for 2018 and 2019 may not happen either (explained here).
Also in the background is the possibility of retaliation by other countries. On the same day as the tariffs were announced, the Reuters news service noted that a variety of countries and regions, including South Korea, China, and the European Union, were mulling various possible responses, including seeking legal remedies through the World Trade Organization (WTO). China might also target its imports of U.S. agricultural products, aircraft, or cars, or the flow of Chinese students studying in the U.S.
For more, see the OSA Optics & Photonics News article here.
New! Special CEO Fireside Chat at OIDA Executive Forum: "The View from the Top — Everything You Wanted to Know about Optics but were Afraid to Ask"
You're invited to join CEOs from the leading optical components companies for a Fireside Chat on 12 March at OIDA Executive Forum at OFC.
Register now and get their unique perspective on a broad range of industry issues including:
- View of market fundamentals in 2018 and over the next 3 years
- Growth drivers by product, customer segment and geographies
- Sustaining growth in a highly cyclical industry
- Diversification into new frontiers and applications such as consumer, auto and industrial
- Balancing investment in innovation with profitability and monetizing the innovation delivered
- Industry Consolidation
This will be an interactive session with plenty of opportunities for the audience to ask their questions.
Join your colleagues on 12 March at OIDA Executive Forum, held in conjunction with OFC. Five panel presentations plus a Keynote Session. Networking events: Breakfast, lunch, two coffee breaks and evening reception.
View the Program. OIDA Members: Buy 1 Discounted Registration - Bring a Customer or Colleague for Free! Register now.
Learn New Roadmaps for Scalable Integrated Photonics for 5G and IoT at OIDA Workshop
11 March 2018 - Held in Conjunction with OFC in San Diego, CA, USA
Fifth generation (5G) wireless and the Internet of Things (IoT) are introducing a wide range of new applications that will depend on performance enhancements across multiple dimensions, including low latency, high capacity, and enhanced resilience. Photonic devices provide capacity and latency that can meet these demanding requirements. That's why you need to attend this OIDA pre-OFC workshop. This workshop will be critical to helping you understand the disruptions under way in the technology and the risks and opportunities for your company.
Register now and get the very latest information to ensure that your organization stays ahead of the game. Attend five presentation sessions, breakfast, lunch, poster display, and special evening networking event.
The Growing List of Speakers Includes:
- Atsushi Kanno, NiCT
- Lute Maleki, Cruise Automation
- Tod Sizer, Nokia
- Boudewijn Docter, Effect Photonics
- Pim Kat, Technobis
- Claudio Mazzali, Corning
- Idelfonso Tafus Monroy, TUe/Blue Space
- Anna Tzanakaki, Bristol University
- Chris Cole, Finisar
- Peter DeDobbelaere, Luxtera
- Ken Giewont, Global Foundries
- Vincent Lin, ASE
- Jan Vardaman, TechSearch International
- And More! Check the web site to see more speakers who are being confirmed.
Registration discounts are available through 26 February.
Photonic Integrated Circuits (PIC) Workshop on Wednesday 14 March at OFC
This year's OFC will feature the 5th workshop on Photonic Integrated Circuits (PIC). The fourth workshop was held at OFC 2017 and had close to 380 attendees and had a unique format consisting of sponsor presentations, then a networking break with catering plus a mini market fair, followed by several use case presentations. The 5th PIC workshop will have a large group of sponsor companies and will be held during OFC on Wednesday 14 March in Room 29ABCD, at the San Diego Convention Center from 17:15 to 20:30.
Driven by 100Gbps in long-haul as well as in datacenter applications, photonic integration is rapidly picking up momentum as it is becoming an indispensable part of those solutions. The purpose of the workshop is to create a one-stop-shop for everyone interested in photonic integration as it brings together all the key players offering solutions, whether foundries, simulation software, packaging, test & measurement, or turn-key solutions. A specific emphasis is on multi-project wafer shuttles (MPW) plus the accompanying Process Design Kits (PDK) as these provides important toolkits to reduce the cost for developing a new chip.
The workshop will provide the audience with a good overall picture of the state-of-art in PICs as well as how to take advantage of existing suppliers to save time and cost. The workshop is free of charge, but does require advance registration. Food and drinks will be provided, and there will be plenty of time to network with the sponsor companies. The workshop is organized by 7 Pennies, OSA Industry Development Associates, as well as EPIC and is sponsored by a consortium of over fifteen PIC services providers covering the entire PIC value chain.
For more information and/or registration, please contact email@example.com or go to https://www.7pennies.com/news-events/pic-workshop-ofc-2018/
Download New OIDA Report on the Wireline Broadband Equipment and the Medical Holography Markets
Highlights in this OIDA Market Update:
- Wireline broadband equipment market: A discussion of equipment market trends worldwide, including legacy and next-gen PON, DSL, and FTTx segments. It also provides information about regional markets and household penetration of different technologies.
- The emerging medical holography market: A review of current and emerging opportunities in the medical holography market, including target markets and market segments, geographic trends, and industry leaders.
2017 OIDA Consolidated Market Updates Report is Now Available to OIDA Members
The OIDA Consolidated Market Updates Report is the collection of the installments of the OIDA Market Updates throughout 2017.
Highlights in the 2017 OIDA Consolidated Market Updates:
- Optical Communications
- LED Lighting
- Augmented and Virtual Reality
New Infographic Brochure: Lighting the Path to a Brighter Future—How Optics and Photonics Impacts the Global Economy
Download this brochure about how optics and photonics impacts the global economy in major sectors and regions.
The brochure answers questions such as:
- How fast are laser sales growing?
- Where is R&D funding coming from and how is it broken out?
- What are the key vertical markets enabled by optics and photonics?
- How do the vertical layers of the communications industry enabled by optics break down in US$?
- What's the production value of eight top vertical markets enabled by optics?
- What's the production value of optics by region?
- How many jobs does optics and photonics create?
Read the brochure now. This is an open-access brochure available to the general public and everyone working in the optics and photonics industry. It was produced by OIDA.
PR Planning for OFC
The OFC PR Team is here to support you and your organization! We provide our exhibitors with public relations and social media information, opportunities including OFC First News (deadline 26 February) and the Breakfast Briefings program. Please register your organization's PR and/or marketing contact to receive the OFC PR Team newsletters, deadline reminders, media opportunities and the advanced pre-registered media and analyst list. We also offer several online resources including the new OFC FAQ videos to help answer your questions and the 2018 PR Toolkit that will walk you through the FREE PR opportunities available to exhibitors. Join us on social media today and stay in the loop on the latest conference updates, topics and trends. Follow us on Twitter @OFCConference (#OFC18), LinkedIn and YouTube. Twitter Chats (#OFCchat) on 13 February and 6 March — discussing topics relevant to the community and build connections between participants.
Join Us at OFC: Reception for Media/Analysts & Exhibitor PR/Marketing Professionals on Tuesday, 13 March, 17:00-18:30 at the San Diego Convention Center, Room 5B. RSVP to OFC@wilkinson.associates
Introducing the Innovation School: 4 Days to Becoming an Innovator
22-26 July 2018, Washington, DC USA
During this 4-day bootcamp, you'll learn about the key methodologies for discovering, developing and launching innovative solutions and products. This hands-on program is perfect for those seeking to participate in the innovation economy - as an innovator at their company, at a start-up venture or as an entrepreneur.
To learn more, visit www.osa.org/innovation. Attendance is limited to 35 people. If you are interested in applying to attend, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Registration information as well as available grants will be announced in February.
New Engineering and Lab Note: Mapping geometry in Fizeau transmission spheres with a small f-number
Applied Optics recently published a new Engineering and Lab Note: Mapping geometry in Fizeau transmission spheres with a small f-number by Qun Yuan, Zhishan Gao, Yimeng Dou, Yanxia Yao, and Lu Chen.
Engineering and Laboratory Notes (E&L Notes), highlight laboratory methods and best practices technicians and specialists can utilize for the design, analysis, fabrication, integration, alignment, and measurement of optical components and systems. These techniques of the trade can lead to further innovations as well as networking opportunities for both authors and readers. E&L Notes Editor Brian Monacelli sums up the initiative here.
View all of the published E&L Notes here. Gain recognition and attract new customers: Applied Optics continues to seek E&L Notes to publish. Submit yours today.
International Day of Light: Apply for a Optics Suitcase
In celebration of the first International Day of Light on 16 May, The OSA Foundation invites you to apply for an Optics Suitcase to be used for a Day of Light teach-in either on 16 May 2018 or between 1 April and 30 June 2018. The suitcase can be used to host kids at your facility or you can send employees to a local school or community event to conduct hands-on activities using suitcase materials.
Apply here: MY COMPANY WANTS A SUITCASE FOR THE INTERNATIONAL DAY OF LIGHT. Questions, please contact email@example.com.
If you are interested in providing other kits or materials to local students or teachers please contact Chad Stark, Executive Director, The OSA Foundation at firstname.lastname@example.org. The OSA Foundation is able to secure other kits as significant discounts in partnership with OIDA members.
Submit an OSA Senior Member Designation Request
If you are a well-established professional within the optics and photonics field, you are encouraged to request an OSA Senior Member designation in recognition of your experience and accomplishments.
Senior Member Requests are due no later than 28 February 2018. New for 2018: OSA Members can also nominate candidates for Senior Membership. Visit www.osa.org/seniormember to learn more.
Attention OSA Fellows — Nominations Now Being Accepted for the 2019 Class of Fellows
OSA Members who have served with distinction in the advancement of optics and photonics may be proposed for election to the class of Fellow. Nominations are due 15 June 2018.
Nominees are assessed in the context of their achievements and career path. View a list of recently inducted Fellows from industry. All current OSA Fellows are encouraged to submit a nomination and recognize their colleagues. More information is available from the OSA Awards Office (email email@example.com or telephone +1 202.416.1960).
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 OSA if you have any suggestions for new programs or comments on your membership.
Forward this message to your colleagues.
Not yet a member? Learn more about the benefits of membership.
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-Elect
• Alex Fong,
TruTag Technologies, Inc.,
• John Dexheimer,
• Amy Eskilson,
• Christoph Harder,
Harder and Partner
• Fred Leonberger,
• Inge Kabert,
• Martin Seifert
• Debbie Wilson,