Read about What's Ahead for Optical Communications, the Quantum Roadmap, AIM Highlights, Special Events, New Reports and Other Noteworthy News, Opinions & Opportunities
In this Issue:
OSA COVID-19 Message
OSA is focused on keeping our global community safe, informed and connected during the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) pandemic. We remain committed to providing the support our members and customers expect from us and maintaining business operations to deliver new and ongoing programs, products, meetings and services virtually. As we continue to adapt to the new reality, alongside you, OSA is prepared to be a resource to you. Learn more.
What's Ahead for Optical Communications?
As a sector of the optics and photonics industry, optical communications will fare better than many in 2020. If the pandemic isn't enough to slow the market, however, the ongoing trade conflict between the U.S. and China may disrupt it more. This point was made in a recent OIDA webinar on the optical communications market, featuring Lisa Huff of market research firm Omdia (for a summary, see the OSA blog here). Omdia currently expects about 1% growth in capital spending by telecom service providers in 2020—that is, approximately flat with 2019. Flat spending would be an enviable outcome for many sectors of the economy right now. Deployment of wireless networks and upgrading networks to manage increased video traffic from isolating at home are helping to support the capital spending.
The figure shows Omdia's estimates of the optical networking equipment market through Q1. The decline in Q1 is partly from the disruption in the supply chain from the pandemic, but also reflects the seasonal decline that comes every Q1. Inventories declined in Q1 2020 for major equipment and component vendors as companies responded to the loss of as many as 10 weeks of production in Asia. The decline likely continued in Q2. Omdia estimates that North American and European equipment makers normally keep about 4 weeks of raw material inventory, have 2 weeks of work in process, and 6 weeks of finished goods inventory.
Looking across both datacom and telecom markets, market research firm LightCounting forecasts a 9% increase in optical transceiver components in 2020 (here). It notes that the cloud revenues of Internet Content Providers (ICPs) are growing faster and at greater profit margins than other segments, and are not likely "to starve their cash cows of needed infrastructure." This refers to companies that operate hyperscale data centers, such as Alphabet, Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft.
But then there’s the U.S.-China trade conflict. On 15 May, the U.S. government increased the pressure on Huawei by restricting its ability to use U.S. technology, such as chip designs, to manufacture its products. Without the capability to design electronics with the latest 7nm feature sizes, this would restrain Huawei’s ability to produce 400G and other equipment. So much so, in fact, that U.K. security officials have warned British telecom operators to maintain adequate stockpiles of Huawei equipment, in case Huawei cannot continue to maintain its own supplies. Since Huawei has the leading market share in the optical networking market, the U.S. restrictions would restrict Huawei’s suppliers as well, which are located around the world. Also on 15 May, TSMC announced that it would build a US$ 12 billion semiconductor fab based on 5-nm feature sizes in Arizona. And three days later, TSMC said it would fall in line and stop new Huawei orders in observance of the U.S. restrictions. How linked these announcements were is a matter for discussion, but there seems that no effort was made to distance them.
Then on 15 June, the U.S. Department of Commerce said companies could continue to talk to Huawei on 5G standards, without violating the sanctions. China is giving more attention to standards in an effort called China Standards 2035, and plans to release a strategy document sometime this year. There is concern that without U.S. companies at the table, Huawei could lead the global standards for 5G.
Meanwhile, in Vancouver, Canada is holding Huawei CFO and daughter of the founder Meng Wanzhou, while she fights extradition to the U.S. on charges related to the conflict. She has been under partial house arrest for 18 months on CAN$ 10 million bail. In retaliation, China arrested and is holding two Canadians on charges of gathering state secrets. The new tell-all book by former White House official John Bolton could help Meng's case, by claiming that the U.S. charges are politically motivated. If that’s not enough, there is a U.S. presidential election this fall that could stir the trade policy some more.
Have you got all that? It makes forecasting a pandemic look easy by comparison.
For a summary of the webinar, go to the OSA blog, or go directly to the webinar here. The June issue of the OIDA Market Update also features the optical communications market (here).
Quantum Continues on the Roadmap
The momentum behind quantum technology seems as strong as ever. The field may be in the fortunate position of being far enough along that commercialization is appearing, but early and speculative enough that a sagging economy is not affecting it. OIDA will be reviewing this progress and our recent roadmap report in an upcoming OIDA webinar on 8 July.
OIDA has reported earlier that the quantum photonics market is not expected to be massive. The figure illustrates a recent forecast from Yole Développement suggesting that the growth will be in quantum encryption and quantum computing, which includes quantum computing services. But there is strong interest in the topic from governments and companies due to "FOMO"—the Fear of Missing Out. That is, the fear of falling behind a competitor should it gain a strategic advantage from a breakthrough in quantum technology. A fancier term is "managing downside risk"—that is, avoiding a devastating failure, as opposed to capturing a large opportunity.
Source: Yole Développement (2020).
Only a fraction of the overall market would be for photonics components, such as integrated photonics, low-noise lasers, single-photon detectors, modulators and passive optics. But there is a parallel market selling into the R&D labs pursuing quantum science and technology. That parallel market for optical R&D tools can be as large or larger than the end-product market. This is actually a common target market in the photonics industry; many companies do well selling expensive systems and components to R&D labs.
Meanwhile, consider some of the interesting recent quantum developments:
- Europe. On 12 June the German cabinet adopted draft legislation for an economic stimulus program that would include €2 billion for quantum technology R&D. Included would be the acquisition of two quantum computers. The U.K. featured the commercialization efforts within its national quantum program in the Quantum Tech Digital Week online conference 12-19 June. On 9 January, France released a report outlining actions addressing quantum technology with the hesitant title (translated to English), Quantum, the Technological Turn that France Will Not Miss.
- North America. Quantum computers will likely be purchased or leased from large companies that can manage the entire stack, from the qubit hardware to the application software. The leading companies are mainly headquartered the U.S., such as Alphabet, Amazon, Honeywell and IBM. Honeywell made the recent claim that it has the highest performing quantum computer by quantum volume, although it is only 6 qubits wide and only Honeywell and IBM have made claims on quantum volume so far. But it supplants the previous debate between Google and IBM over so-called "quantum supremacy," itself a term of much controversy. Meanwhile, the QED-C is busy forming a U.S. consortium aimed at assuring a healthy U.S. ecosystem to support quantum technology.
- Asia. On 16 June, China made news for another hero achievement in quantum communication, this time sending keys between two cities separated by 1,100 km using a satellite and two ground stations at a key rate of 0.12 bps. China's achievements in QKD experiments have won it widespread press coverage. And, the South China Morning Post reported in 2017 that as much as 76 billion yuan (US$ 10 billion) would be invested in a new quantum institute in Hefei, in Anhui province near Shanghai. This was widely repeated, but OIDA has not been able to substantiate that the proposal has been approved as of this writing, nearly 3 years later. But China is likely investing at a level at least that of each of the U.S. and Europe.
You can attend OIDA's upcoming webinar on 8 July (here) and non-members can download the OIDA public report, OIDA Quantum Photonics Roadmap: Every Photon Counts here. (Members can download the report without registering here.) OIDA has also featured its roadmap in the Inside Quantum Technology conference (4 June) and CLEO (13 May). OSA will hold its inaugural Quantum 2.0 Conference online with OSA’s Frontiers in Optics (FiO) annual meeting, 14-17 September 2020. Look for more information on quantum programming at that event, which will also include the finals of the pitch competition for Luminate, the optics, photonics, and imaging startup accelerator based in Rochester, New York.
AIM Highlights: Technician Training, PIC Design, and a New Roadmap
Good things have been coming out of AIM Photonics, the consortium founded to advance photonic integrated circuit (PIC) manufacturing. Here are a few recent highlights.
- PIC design course. AIM Academy announced another 6-week online course on fabless PIC design. The course will begin 4 August 2020 and the program is taking registrations now. For more information, see here.
- Technician training. OIDA believes strongly in the importance of training of technicians for work in optics and photonics companies. While federal research funding is generally directed at PhD students, postdocs and professors, companies uniformly complain that they also can’t find capable technicians.
We are proud to highlight our support to establish a program for technicians trained in integrated photonics. OSA, IEEE Photonics Society and SPIE each contributed US$ 75,000 to fund tuition for the first 15 students of the new program at two colleges in Massachusetts. MIT helped to roll out the program, as part of the AIM Academy, the education and workforce development effort within AIM Photonics.
The support from the societies is not just monetary, it helped to validate the need for the program and win co-funding from government agencies. The U.S. Office of Naval Research contributed a US$ 1.8 million grant, and the State of Massachusetts contributed US$ 3.8 million toward the training program.
The course materials developed for the program will be available for any instructor or school that wants to start a similar program. For more information, see a story in the 21 April MIT News here, and visit the AIM Academy here.
- IPSR roadmap spring meeting. OIDA attended the Spring 2020 meeting of the International Photonic Systems Roadmap on 8-9 June, sponsored by AIM Photonics Academy, PhotonDelta and the MIT Microphotonics Center. The meeting was called a "checkup" and focused on the working groups and the draft roadmap. The international collaboration was planning to release the latest version of the roadmap before the end of June. The overview can be found here.
OIDA is a regular attendee of AIM Academy activities and sits on the AIM Photonics Academy Advisory Committee.
Welcome New OIDA Members
Professional Development Opportunity for OIDA Members
Successful companies hone and harness the entrepreneurial/intrapreneurial spirit within their employees and leverage it for greater success. Part of The OSA Foundation’s (OSAF) mission is to inspire, support and mentor the next generation of innovators in optics and photonics to better prepare them for the workforce.
Now in its fourth year, the OSAF will host its 2020 Innovation School in a virtual setting from 12 July to 17 July. This 6 day interactive program will be a jam-packed week with virtual teams, impactful workshops, virtual networking, mentors sessions and lots of talks from industry leaders. Don't miss out on this dynamic professional development opportunity for your employees. Companies like Corning, Apple, Thorlabs, Zygo, Edmund Optics and many others have consistently enrolled individuals each year to participate in this unique program.
Registration: US$ 100 and includes 6 days of hands-on training, post school debriefings and a snack kit sponsored by Thorlabs.
For more information or to register, please visit osa.org/innovation.
OSA Applied Industrial Optics Free Webinar Series — Register Now
Take advantage of a free opportunity to experience AIO from your desktop. This year's AIO meeting has transitioned to an AIO Webinar Series, comprised of three, 60-minute programs—one for each day the meeting was scheduled. There is no cost to participate. Whether you view talks live or on demand later, you can access educational resources to help drive your business, and get the insights you need to continue critical research and development—wherever you are in the world, at times that work for you.
Webinar: The Optics of the Electrification Transformation
Monday, 20 July, 11:00-12:00 EDT
Keynote speaker Michael Oshetski, Micatu, Inc., will present his talk. Learn how necessity drives new technologies for measurement, control and decentralization of electrification.
Webinar: Investing in Patent Protection
Tuesday, 21 July, 11:00-12:00 EDT
Learn what to patent and how to patent it in a webinar presented by attorney Max Colice.
Webinar: The Applied Industrial Optics Market—Pandemic Update
Wednesday, 22 July, 11:00-12:00 EDT
OSA and OIDA Senior Industry advisor Tom Hausken provides a market overview and addresses how current conditions may cause short- and long-term pain.
RSVP for Virtual OIDA Member Benefit Orientation
RSVP for OIDA's member benefit overview orientation. This is an opportunity to learn more about key membership benefits you and your company should be taking advantage of and explore how to maximize performance and grow your business.
Whether you have been an active member for years and need a quick refresh or are transitioning to the new OIDA membership model — this orientation is a must-attend! Please feel free to share this with your colleagues. When you join OIDA, everyone at your organization becomes a member.
"OIDA's publications, market reports, and professional networking opportunities have become an essential tool for our optics industry, offering an excellent platform for building lasting professional relationships be it B2B or B2C." - Samir Desai, Cosemi Technologies
New Digital Programming Now Available On-Demand
OIDA management and OIDA members have produced a series of webinars that are available at no charge. We encourage you to browse our growing list of upcoming events and view on-demand webinar recordings as they become available. And there is much more! Check out the OSA We Are On webpage for more high quality webinars on career development from the OSA Foundation and the OSA Career Lab.
OSA Laser Applications Conference: Extended Deadline — Present Virtually
Abstract and Summary Submission Deadline: 21 July 2020
OSA announces that the OSA Laser Applications Conference, part of the OSA Laser Congress, is now a virtual conference presented 12-16 October. We can now offer more time to submit a paper for consideration to present and ensure that your talk or poster will reach its intended audience.
Accepted authors will have the option to present live during a virtual session or submit a prerecorded video. No matter your preference, accepted and presented work will also be published in OSA Publishing's Digital Library.
In order to make the OSA Laser Congress truly accessible to all in our community, there will be no cost to participate as an attendee. Contributing authors presenting an oral talk or poster will pay a US$ 100 publishing fee. This virtual solution and free registration greatly increases your potential audience — in quantity and geographic diversity.
Submit a paper.
Virtual and Co-located: FiO + LS and the OSA Quantum 2.0 Conference
Eastern Daylight Time (EDT), GMT-04:00
OSA determined that, with health and travel advisories still in place throughout the world, it is best to present all remaining 2020 meetings in a virtual format. This includes OSA Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science APS/DLS and OSA Quantum 2.0 Conference, both of which will be co-located in September. The introduction of the Quantum 2.0 Conference completes the FiO + LS quantum program which makes this a can't-miss event to explore quantum technologies.
This year, the Luminate Finals: Pitch Competition will be presented as part of FiO + LS. Luminate is the only international startup accelerator focused solely on next-generation optics, photonics, and imaging (OPI). The awards program provides early-stage companies with the capital necessary to further develop their technologies, including US$ 100,000 upon program acceptance, and a chance to win up to US$ 1 million in follow-on funding.
To make virtual OSA Meetings accessible to as many in our community as possible, we have also removed the barrier of cost. Participants can register for free to attend. (Contributing authors of oral talks and posters pay a US $100 publishing fee.) Recent virtual meetings presented by OSA illustrate that the format, coupled with free registration, results in a large and geographically diverse audience. All presentations will be digitally recorded, transcribed, and made available within 12 hours of the end of each session to encourage engagement and minimize time zone issues.
Call for Nominations — John Tyndall Award
We are currently seeking nominations for the 2021 Tyndall Award, which recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions in any area of optical-fiber technology, including optical fibers themselves, the optical components used in fiber systems, as well as transmission systems and networks using fibers. This award is co-presented by OSA and IEEE Photonics Society and supported by Corning Incorporated.
Submission Deadline: 10 August.
Call for Nominations — Herbert Walther Award
We are currently seeking nominations for the 2021 Walther Award, which recognizes distinguished contributions in quantum optics and atomic physics as well as leadership in the international scientific community. This award is co-presented by OSA and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG). Support for the award is provided by Toptica Photonics AG and Messe München International - LASER World of PHOTONICS.
Submission Deadline: 10 August.
Invitation to Join the OIDA Optics and Photonics Industry LinkedIn Group
Join 3,500+ of your colleagues in our OIDA 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!
Questions or Suggestions about OIDA 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.
- Simin Cai,
- Claudio Mazzali,
Corning Research &
Development Corp, Past Chair
- John Dexheimer,
LightWave Advisors, Inc.
- Turan Erdogan,
- Amy Eskilson,
- Christoph S. Harder,
- Anjul Loiacono,
- Rick Plympton,
Optimax Systems, Inc.
- Debbie Wilson,
Lumentum Operations Inc.