Member News - 17 November 2014

Industry Member News

17 November, 2014

      November 2014

In this Issue:

Photonics Selected for Manufacturing Institute
On October 3, President Barack Obama announced photonics has been selected for an Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IMI).

The new competition, according to the Department of Defense (DOD) announcement, will award up to $110 million in federal funds to be matched 1:1 by private investments for the creation of an Integrated Photonics Institute for Manufacturing Innovation (IP-IMI). The IP-IMI must be led by a non-profit and consist of both large, medium and small companies as well as universities and other educational institutions. In addition to bridging the gap between research and product development, the IMIs will have a workforce and education component.

IMIs are regional hubs, operated through public-private partnerships, with the goal of improving manufacturing innovation. The IMIs combined make up the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI).

In June of this year, the DOD announced a Request for Information (RFI) for two IMIs and had included photonics as one of six possible technologies being considered for an IMI. Based on the strong responses to the RFI, the DOD selected photonics.
OIDA Advisory Board and Council
Claudio Mazzali,
Corning Incorporated

Mike Fiddy,
University of North Carolina

Steve Grubb,

Christoph Harder,
HHP and Swiss Photonics and Laser Network

Fred Leonberger,
EOvation Technologies, LLC

Elizabeth Rogan, The Optical Society
On November 5, the Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) for the IP-IMI was released. A few key dates to note from the FOA:
  • The Proposers Day will take place on Wednesday, November 19, 2014 in Arlington, VA, to provide potential proposers with information and an opportunity to ask questions. More information about Proposers Day and registration will be posted at
  • The first step of the solicitation process will be concept papers which are due on December 19, 2014 no later than 3:00 p.m. (ET).
  • The second step of the solicitation process will be full proposals. Full proposals will be requested based on the concept papers that meet the Government's needs. Full proposal invitations will be sent by January 30, 2015 and full proposals will need to be received by March 31, 2015.
  • The estimated award date is around June 2015.
For more detailed information, please read the Funding Opportunity Announcement.

OSA will be hosting a webinar on Tuesday, November 25 at 1 pm (EST). For more information click here.

Thoughts on the NNMI Integrated Photonics Institute
It's now official, but the proposed U.S. institute for manufacturing photonics will only be successful if prospective team members can trust each other enough to solve the core challenge, which is to fill in holes in the photonics manufacturing ecosystem. If partners back away out of fear of leaking intellectual property, or see the opportunity only as a money grab, the institute will not succeed, even if it goes forward as a funded program.

That's not to say partners must join a consortium out of charity. Partners should only sign up to an institute if it works for them. But collaboration in a consortium can be in a company's self-interest.

The government's requirement to address Technology Readiness Levels 4-7 is a particularly demanding one, as is the requirement for self-sufficiency by the end of the 5th year. These boundary conditions are more like the deliverables expected of a large business contract than for the kind of collaborative centers that NSF awards for academic R&D. Large business contracts require trust between partners and commitment to the overall goal.

White House advisor Jason Miller told OIDA Annual Forum attendees that getting the institutes formed and running is difficult work, but worth the effort to address manufacturing. (See more about Miller's remarks here in OSA's Optics & Photonics News.) Having worked since 2011 toward an industry-government collaboration in integrated photonics manufacturing, we agree: it's more difficult than anyone imagines, but the core challenge is well worth solving.

OIDA Workshop Discusses Commercial PICs
A number of key takeaways emerged from OIDA's sold-out workshop on the state of commercialized integrated photonics. The leading companies making commercial products reported on their approaches, with an aim to find common directions where manufacturing technology is going.

A lot of attention in the workshop was on packaging, particularly 3D packaging, as opposed to the chip fabrication alone. While the chip fabrication is still developing, it has become mature enough that packaging is now a more visible concern for companies. OIDA refers to this more broadly as the "ecosystem": all those things that have to come together to make a commercial product competitive and profitable. This includes the chip fabrication, but also the CAD tools, assembly, test, and associated electronics and subcomponents.

Another key point was that cost and faceplate density are becoming the more important drivers of integrated photonics. This is in contrast to spectral efficiency and sheer performance, which are associated more with long-haul telecom applications than with metro or data center networks.

The workshop was held November 5 in Washington DC, and was another in a series sponsored by Infinera. Workshop presentations are available to attendees and OIDA members. For membership, contact Regan Pickett at OSA.


Company "Deconsolidation"
Remember when the trend was to stratify the supply chain but to consolidate photonics companies horizontally into "one-stop shops"? That's so 1999 now, with several companies "deconsolidating" into separate divisions.

JDSU has decided that having everything under one roof is not necessarily optimal after all, announcing in October that it will split into two divisions. This mirrors IBM's spinoff of its microchip and server divisions (to Global Foundries and Lenovo, respectively), Agilent's spinoff of Keysight Technologies, and Alcatel-Lucent's planned IPO of its submarine network unit in 2015. Other notable announcements of splits in recent tech industry news are HP, Symantec, and eBay.

There can be all sorts of reasons, but surely primary is to satisfy Wall Street investors who prefer that companies fall into easy-to-define categories. In the case of JDSU—or the "Federation of JDSU"—there was evidently not enough synergy between its divisions to keep it together, but also not any centrifugal force to split it apart until now.

Plenty of companies compete by collecting a wide portfolio, two examples being Thorlabs and Gooch & Housego. And vertical integration is not out of style, with companies like Infinera, IPG Photonics, and Trumpf proudly operating captive chip fabs that support their downstream system businesses. Cisco went vertical in transceivers, with its acquisition of fabless supplier Lightwire in 2012. Even Google is rumored to be moving toward fabricating its own chips. (Even Google!)

How things can change in 15 years. Maybe in another 15 years we will come full circle and one-stop shops will be all the rage again.

These developments and others were reported at the OIDA Annual Forum, held November 4. The Forum presentations are available to attendees and OIDA members. For membership, contact Regan Pickett at OSA.

NPI Launches New Group and Attends a White House BRAIN Initiative Event
On September 30, the National Photonics Initiative (NPI) visited the White House as part of an event the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) had on President Obama's Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies (BRAIN) Initiative. The NPI has created a Photonics Industry Neuroscience Group consisting of industry. The industry partners have committed to investing $30 million for developing optics and photonics technologies to support the efforts of the BRAIN Initiative.

The new NPI group includes Accumetra, LLC, Agilent, Applied Scientific Instrumentation, Coherent, Hamamatsu, Inscopix, Inc., Spectra-Physics and THORLABS.

For more information, please see the NPI press release.

Photonics for Disaggregated Data Centers Workshop to be Held 22 March at OFC 2015 in Los Angeles, CA, USA
Attend this workshop and get a deep look at the potential for photonic devices and networks in disaggregated data center architectures. Understand this new direction in data center architecture: what it is, how will it develop going forward, and what it means for optical systems and components.

Key questions to be addressed:
  • What does a photonic enabled disaggregated data center look like?
  • What performance metrics/requirements are important for photonics in disaggregated data centers?
  • How does the use of embedded optics impact disaggregation?
Learn More

Attend OSA Executive Forum at OFC on 23 March 2015
Connect globally. Innovate brilliantly. Attend the premier event for leaders in optical networking and communications.

Featured Speaker: Jeff Cox, Sr. Director of Network Architecture, Microsoft

Panel Speakers Include:
  • Najam Ahmad, Facebook
  • Joe Berthold, Ciena
  • Cedric Lam, Google
  • Randy Nicklas, Windstream
  • Mitch Fields, Avago
  • Alan Lowe, JDSU
  • Osa Mok, Innolight Technology Corporation
  • Rajiv Ramaswami, Broadcom
  • Jerry Rawls, Finisar
Learn More

OSSC Hosts NPI Event
The Optical Society of Southern California (OSSC) hosted a National Photonics Initiative (NPI) event at Precision Optical on October 8th that included Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA), a member of the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee. The event included a panel discussion of the NPI with four panelist including NPI Steering Committee Chair and Past OSA President Tom Baer. The event had more than 100 attendees. For more information, please visit the NPI website or the OSSC website.

Unique Opportunity for Physicists - Help Shape Federal Science Policy!
Looking for a way to combine your interest in policy with your science background? Become an OSA Congressional Fellow! The program is a unique opportunity for scientists and engineers to gain experience in public policy and help influence decision makers. Congressional Fellows spend one year on Capitol Hill working as special legislative assistants on the staff of a member of Congress or Congressional Committee. Applicants must have a Ph.D. by September 1, 2015 to be eligible; mid- and late-career applicants are encouraged to apply as well. A competitive salary and a health insurance/travel stipend are provided. More information on the fellowship including how to apply can be found on OSA's website. Deadline for applications is Friday, January 2, 2015.

Invitation to Attend the U.S. Army Research Laboratory's Open Campus Open House
The U.S. Army Research Laboratory (ARL) has announced an Open House to introduce the science and technology community to ARL's research scientists and engineers and to the specialized laboratory facilities that are available to support joint research. For those interested in collaborating with ARL staff, this is an ideal opportunity to meet them and tour the facilities. The event will take place on Tuesday & Wednesday, December 9 & 10, 2014 in the Adelphi, MD.

If interested in attending, please send your contact information (including name, organization, and email) to Additional information is attached and can also be found on

In the First Person - A Candid Conversation with Mr. Dayong Min, Chairman and President, Huagong Laser Engineering Co., Ltd., China
Interviewed by Bo Gu, President, BOS Photonics

Thursday, 20 November 2014
14:00 - 15:00
Yuan Yi Grand Ballroom East
Hilton Shanghai Hongqiao, Shanghai, China

Learn more about this complimentary event.

Coming January 1 - OSA Industry Development Associates
A New Name For a Larger and More Influential Industry Membership Alliance

The Optoelectronics Industry Development Association and OSA Corporate Associates are joining forces to create one new Industry Membership. The new, more comprehensive OSA Industry Development Associates (OIDA) will have a benefits package designed to help you increase revenue, decrease operational costs and receive reliable information that can be used every day to stay informed and competitive. Read the Press Release. Questions? Call Regan Pickett at 1.202.416.1474.

Showcase Your Optical Engineering Excellence
Submit your innovation to Applications & Technology, featuring new optical engineering excellence criteria for 2015. CLEO: Applications & Technology presents the latest advancements in applied optics and photonics and discusses how these technologies can be used in products. Innovative commercial technologies are demonstrated through new components, advanced processing technology and optoelectronic systems. Papers are being accepted in 4 key categories including Biomedical Applications, Industrial Applications, Laser & Photonics Applications for Energy & Environment and Photonic Instrumentation & Techniques for Metrology & Industrial Process.

Share your work for the opportunity to participate in CLEO's distinguished technical program which includes the Plenary Program featuring luminaries, Eric Betzig (Nobel Prize Winner in Chemistry 2014),Steven Chu (Nobel Prize Winner in Physics 1997), Tony Heinz and Miles Padgett. Hiroshi Amano (Nobel Prize Winner in Physics 2014) and Shuji Nakamura (Nobel Prize Winner in Physics 2014) will participate in a special International Year of the Light Plenary session. Deadline: 16 December 2014, 17:00 GMT |

Optical Design & Testing Feature Issue in Applied Optics
Applied Optics recently published a Feature Issue on Optical Design and Testing. This Feature Issue highlights original research ranging from the optical design of image and nonimage optical stimuli for human perception, optics applications, bio-optics applications to novel imaging or nonimage modalities in visible and infrared spectral imaging, modulation transfer function measurement and innovative interferometry. View the full issue online.

Showcase Your Company's Innovations and Gain Recognition by Publishing in Applied Optics
Applied Optics has created a new publishing opportunity called Engineering and Laboratory Notes (E&L Notes). E&L Notes are brief articles that feature the laboratory techniques and hands-on skills required for the design, analysis, fabrication, integration, alignment, and measurement of optical components and systems.

Why Should You Publish An E&L Note in Applied Optics?
  • To develop new business opportunities for your company
  • To promote your company's new innovations by publishing its patent approvals and applications
  • To gain recognition for your company and attract new customers
New to Applied Optics?
Celebrating more than 50 years of publication, Applied Optics is a highly regarded journal that features content on applied research in optics, photonics, imaging, and sensing. Content from the Journal is downloaded more than 1 million times a year and is accessible to readers in 1,500 plus institutions around the globe.

To learn more or to submit your notes, visit the E&L Notes webpage

Optics & Photonics Latin America Website
Interested in news and events taking place in Latin America? Be sure to visit which features articles, events and updates from the Latin American optics and photonics community. Have something to share? We welcome news, events, photos and company listings. Contact to submit content and subscribe to our quarterly newsletter.

Your Organization Can Help Inspire the Future - Join the Light BLOX Challenge
Celebrate the International Year of Light: 2015 (IYL) with the OSA Foundation by participating in the IYL Light BLOX Challenge. Your organization's support will provide an official IYL Education Outreach Kit to students around the world. Each kit is filled with exciting activities that introduce children to the science of light through hands-on education activities. Contributions help inspire the future of a student:
  • $35 provides one kit to a student
  • $200 provides kits for an entire classroom
Inspire the next generation of scientific innovators with your donation to the IYL Light BLOX Challenge today. For a limited time, every kit purchased is matched 100% by The Optical Society, allowing your gift to count twice.

Help us give the gift of light and purchase a kit today!

Are You Taking Advantage of All of Your Member Benefits?
Check out the complete list of benefits available to you as an OIDA member. These 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 -- more than 18,500 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 benefits. Have questions about your membership? Contact Regan Pickett,, 1.202.416.1474.
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