Member News - 4 May, 2012

Industry Member News

04 May, 2012


Upcoming OIDA Event

Photonic Integration Workshop 

Co-located with the Advanced Photonics Congress
21 June, 2012 – Colorado Springs, CO, USA

Register Now!


Please join us in welcoming University of Texas at Austin Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and iNEMI to the OIDA membership.

Please visit the Member Directory for a full listing of OIDA members.


Data Center Workshop

The OIDA workshop on metrics for data centers—collocated at OFC 2012 on March 4—was filled to overflowing with participants hearing about issues and metrics addressing the scaling challenge of modern data centers. It is the first effort in the industry that aims to quantify specific metrics to address this challenge, with projections stretching to 2022.

Conventional data centers route most traffic “North-South”; that is, into and out of the data center, for applications such as database access. Expansion is done by “scaling up” the overall hierarchy. New, modern data centers route most traffic “East-West” among servers, for doing search and other complex operations. Expansion is done by “scaling out” across the server layer, but the massive number of interconnections among servers with current technology eventually becomes unmanageable. Solving this scaling challenge requires new architectures and technologies, including new optical interconnects that are not yet commercialized.

The key constraint in scaling the interconnects is the energy efficiency. If future data centers are to remain at a realistic size and cost, then the interconnects have to carry more bandwidth at the same cost and less power. Optical interconnects offer the best long-term strategy to achieve this, but the technology is not mature. Optics will eventually have to move inside the server rack, onto the board and even perhaps the chip. While this is a formidable technical challenge, the controlled data center environment does offers relief from expensive Telcordia qualifications required for telecom systems.

The workshop report documents key points and projections toward meeting this challenge. At this early stage, the specific metrics are relatively simplistic. A next step could include development of more sophisticated metrics based on reference models, such as through R&D done at CIAN—the Center for Integrated Access Networks. OIDA/OSA partnered with CIAN and NSF on the workshop. 

Manufacturing Workshop

OIDA hosted a workshop entitled, “Opportunities and Trends in Optoelectronic Manufacturing,” on March 5th in Los Angeles collocated with OFC/NFOEC 2012. The event was made possible by a generous sponsorship from Corning, with NRC-Canada as the supporting sponsor. This international event was well attended by representatives of the photonics industry, financial community, academia, as well as government agencies. The goal of this workshop was to determine what manufacturing innovations and business incentives are needed to facilitate manufacturing, and to delineate topics of technology focus in photonics that might be used to address government manufacturing initiatives.

The need for standardization at the chip and package level was a common theme that emerged in many discussions. A questionnaire seeking input on perceived manufacturing challenges and their significance to the strength of the photonics industry was handed out to the attendees. The workshop report in preparation will summarize the event and include the different viewpoints on manufacturing strategies.

Coincidentally, the President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2013 proposes a $1 billion, one-time investment by NIST to create the new National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. The Network will be a collaboration involving the Departments of Commerce, Defense, and Energy, and NSF. The U.S. Government will seek to identify a wide-ranging set of technology focus areas for up to 15 Institutes for Manufacturing Innovation. This represents a great opportunity for the photonics industry. More details can be found here.

Congressional Visits Day

On April 25, 7 OSA and two OIDA members, Doug Cooper with OneChip and Arlon Martin with Kotura, participated in the annual Congressional Visits Day (CVD) event. The event sponsored by the Science, Engineering, and Technology Working group is designed to bring scientists and engineers to Washington, DC to talk about the importance of funding for R&D in the federal budget. This year, the focus was on sustaining funding at NSF, NIST, DOE Office of Science and DOD. All of these agencies are important to the funding of optics and photonics.

Doug Cooper with OneChip Photonics and OIDA member, Jian Liu with PolarOnyx and Congressman Mike Honda from California


National Network for Manufacturing Innovation

The President’s Budget for Fiscal Year 2013 proposes a $1 billion, one-time investment by NIST to create the new National Network for Manufacturing Innovation. The Network will be a collaboration involving the Departments of Commerce, Defense, and Energy, and NSF. The Network requires Congressional authorization. The Administration looks forward to working with the Congress to develop and enact the required legislation.

DOE Releases CALiPER Application Summary Report 14 

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has completed Series 14 of testing through the DOE Solid-State Lighting (SSL) CALiPER program. A summary of the results is now available for download on the DOE SSL website at

DOE Publishes Updated SSL R&D Plan 

The U.S. Department of Energy has published the April 2012 edition of the Solid-State Lighting R&D Multi-Year Program Plan (MYPP). The report provides a description of the activities the Department plans to undertake over the next several years to implement its SSL mission, and informs the development of annual SSL R&D funding opportunities.

DOE will continue to update the MYPP on an annual basis, with input from industry partners and workshop attendees, to incorporate new analysis, progress, and new research priorities as science evolves. To download a PDF of the 2012 MYPP, go to