Member News - July 2013

Industry Member News

03 July, 2013

Industry News

Mid-Year Market Update: Modest Growth is a Good Thing

While the US economy is by no means in great shape, the North American photonics market is looking good compared to other regional markets. U.S. unemployment is gradually declining, although the workforce is still underemployed, and financing is still tight. The new normal for the U.S. economic growth is about 2% per year. While the federal budget sequestration may still trim off some growth this year, the economy doesn’t appear headed for a double-dip recession, and U.S. photonics companies are growing faster than the U.S. economy as a whole, at about 4% per year.

Meanwhile, Europe’s economy is flirting with recession. If its photonics industry is holding up, it is due to exports, not the European domestic market. The photonics industries in Japan and Taiwan face challenges from offshoring to China, much as the U.S. did decades ago. And even China’s economic growth has slowed—to a new normal of 8% to 9% per year. While this would be strong growth in the U.S., it is barely enough to keep China ahead of its rapid urbanization.

The chart suggests the outlook that OIDA sees for the leading North American photonics companies, excluding suppliers of solar cells and panels. This year—2013—promises to be much like 2012 with about 4% growth. Next year—2014—promises to be better, with 5% to 10% growth. Then, 2015 appears to be the year when the major economies all recover from the recession and feed growth together.


How many lasers have been shipped?

We get asked a lot of questions at OIDA, and this one is worth sharing. How many lasers have been sold since their first demonstration in 1960? Actually, this is an even simpler question: how many diode lasers have been sold? After all, diode laser unit sales dwarf sales of all other types of lasers. In a good year there have been over a billion diode lasers sold—mostly for optical storage, but also for laser pointers, optical mice, and transceivers. Other types don’t even come close.

The figure shows the unit sales of diode lasers, now at about 12 billion, cumulative over 30 years (but only displayed for the 20 years beginning in 1985). OIDA created the chart from archived data from Laser Focus World and Strategies Unlimited. Most of the volume is from one application: optical storage. In fact, further declines in sales of CD and DVD players may be so significant as to slow overall growth in laser sales.

While this is impressive, note that there are several times more LEDs sold in even a single year. The cumulative LED sales may be 100X greater than that for lasers.

Government News

OIDA Advocacy and NPI Update

OIDA has been very active in the last months with advocacy efforts. Here is a brief update:

  • Manufacturing integrated photonics. OIDA organized a meeting in Washington DC on May 30 with key stakeholders in the manufacturing of integrated photonics, with the aim of finding common ground for shared pre-competitive R&D. The meeting brought together representatives of many large U.S. companies and relevant U.S. funding agencies. Some of the discussion will be continued at an upcoming OIDA workshop on integrated photonics, on September 17, also in Washington DC.
  • Cybersecurity. A lot of OIDA’s recent effort relates in some way to the U.S. government’s strong concerns about cybersecurity. In optical communications, this means the assurance that networking systems are genuine, secure from tampering, and disruption from supply, including for the supply chain of components that go into the systems. Recent testimony in Congress from Juniper and Ciena highlighted some of the issues related to this. On May 30, OIDA members and staff met with staff from two House committees to discuss the issue and ways to help Congress work through this challenging issue.
  • NNMI. As noted in an OIDA alert sent to members, NIST made its long-awaited announcement on the three new NNMI institutes to be created this year, and a photonics institute was not among the three. OIDA submitted documents, travelled to events, and monitored several local efforts aiming to establish such an institute. OIDA will continue to monitor this program to support funding of photonics.
  • OIDA comments on tax reform. As noted in the last OIDA newsletter, OIDA submitted comments to U.S. members of Congress in April, regarding ways to improve the tax code for U.S. manufacturers. The members are part of the Manufacturing Tax Reform Working Group, which is making recommendations to the House Ways and Means Committee.


Exclusive — Now Available to OIDA Members!
OIDA Market Update May/June 2013

The OIDA Market Update brings the Annual Market Report to OIDA members in a series of bi-monthly installments. Each update features key topics in optoelectronics markets, including particular sectors or market segments, regional trends, and recent areas of focus for OIDA, and which are not available in another form in the industry today. The Market Update also features more detail on topics that are reported by OIDA elsewhere in presentations and in the OIDA newsletter. The material is presented in a user-friendly format as a set of slides with accompanying narration.

This latest installment features the following topics:

  • Brief mid-year outlook on North American photonics suppliers.
  • An update on OIDA advocacy efforts—including a market-based argument for public-private partnerships—and the recent launch of the National Photonics Initiative (NPI).
  • A review of high-level communication industry market trends that matter to the optoelectronics industry.
  • A “meta-study” of market reports in biophotonics, in order to understand the commonalities and differences of each.

Visit the Publications Page to view this timely report as well as the complete report library:
Not an OIDA Member? Join today and gain access to this report and the exclusive portfolio of OIDA member benefits!

Now Available! New OIDA Workshop Report
Future Needs of "Scale-Out" Data Centers: An OIDA Workshop for Stakeholders

The report, written by OVUM, summarizes the output of a workshop co-hosted by OIDA, CIAN (the Center for Integrated Access Networks), and the US National Science Foundation. Additional materials not presented at the workshop have also been included in this report in order to clarify or reinforce discussion topics.

  • Get an updated look at the data center roadmap (through 2022)
  • Read key takeaways from presentations by leaders in this growing market
  • Review market and technology trends for data center architectures and components
  • Find out rate of growth over the next decade for transceivers in this market

Visit the Publications Page to view this timely report as well as the complete report library:

Member Benefits

New Benefits for OIDA Members!

OSA Corporate Membership and OIDA – A new alliance providing the resources your company needs to succeed. Take advantage of these new benefits with your OIDA Membership. Look for more information on this new partnership in the coming months.

Some of the new benefits include:

  • Secure the Right Talent through Post 20 job openings at no charge, with additional postings at 50% off.
  • Gain exclusive access to OSA's individual members of more than 18,000 optics professionals.Your first mailing list order includes 5,000 names at no charge.
  • And More – Learn more about all of the OIDA/OSA Corporate Member member benefits.

Upcoming Events

Register Today: OIDA Workshop — Status and Future of Photonic Integration, Sponsored by Infinera



Tuesday, 17 September
OSA/OIDA Offices in Washington, D.C.
Now Open

This workshop will review the current status roadmaps and key-enabling technologies for photonic integration. The forum will review technologies that range from chip, to package to system level implementation across the computer communications, data communications, metro, and long-haul markets.

Learn more, save the date, and plan to attend!

Get high-quality data, insights and solutions to build better products and increase ROI, and network with colleagues and industry leaders from around the world.
Register Today: OIDA Annual Forum



Monday, 18 November 2013 – Special Afternoon Programming Offered Exclusively to OIDA Members
Tuesday, 19 November 2013 – Full Day of Programming Open to All



Washington, D.C.

OIDA's Annual Forum brings key stakeholders together in Washington, D.C. to maximize discussion between industry, government, and academic decision-makers.

The 2013 Forum will feature:

  • Market overviews
  • Perspectives on hot topics
  • Highlights on activities in diverse geographic regions
  • Lessons learned from recent OIDA roadmapping efforts

In addition, there will also be an exclusive members-only session on government agency activities relevant to optoelectronics.

Save the date, attend and ensure that you are included in this unique, once-a-year industry forum for the optoelectronics community!

Other Upcoming Events
Florida Photonics Cluster Meeting - Presentation by Tom Hausken, OIDA's Sr. Engineering & Applications Advisor
11 September, 2013 - Orlando, FL

Complimentary Corporate Networking Reception and Special Business Presentations at FiO
After the exhibit hall closes on Tuesday, join your colleagues for a 2-hour complimentary networking reception and business program.
08 October, 2013 - Orlando, FL

OIDA Complimentary Program on Industrial Lasers
28 October, 2013 - Marriott Paris Rive Gauche Hotel and Convention Center
Paris, France