Member News - January 2014

Industry Member News

14 January, 2014


Did you know OIDA Members can now post news stories on the OSA industry news board? Just click the "Submit Corporate Member News" button on this page to gain increased exposure for your organization.


What's Hot and What's Not in Photonics for 2014

January seems like a good time to review what's hot, what's not, and what's just "meh" as we start 2014. Here are 10 things to think about (it's always 10). Let us know what you think of our choices.
  1. Hot - OEIC open foundry and assembly. OIDA will soon report on the NSF workshop we hosted on Si photonics foundries, but our bigger effort has been in the assembly-side of OEIC (PIC) manufacturing - another important challenge.
  2. Hot - Data centers. Why data centers? Because new architectures connect the thousands of servers to each other, which creates new demands on the interconnects. See our workshop at OFC 2014.
  3. Hot - 100 Gbps single-channel single-wavelength short-reach optical interconnects. It's a mouthful, but is the next step in high-data-rate communications. OIDA and Ethernet Alliance will host a workshop on this topic in June.
  4. Hot - Imaging for robotics. Including self-driving cars and personal drone aircraft.
  5. Hot - Biophotonics. Too many new applications to list here, from arrayed biosensors to ZnS quantum dots. See the June OIDA Market Update.
  6. Meh - U.S. investment in photonics. Corporate investment is strong overall, but component suppliers can't fund a new manufacturing platform by themselves. U.S. government investment in photonics is also strong, but is heavily concentrated in military and energy applications. Direct venture investment in photonics is weak. OIDA will report on U.S. investment in 2014.
  7. Meh - 3D printing. It's the darling of the media, but not a big opportunity for photonics. See the December OIDA Market Update.
  8. Meh - Google Glass. Google is just the most prominent developer - there are others - but turning Glass on turns people off.
  9. Not - Solar. Solar will come back, and U.S. companies are still in the game, but weak demand combined with falling prices is not a happy place to be.
  10. Not - 3DTV. It turns out that 2DTV is pretty good after all. And who wants to wear those darn 3D glasses?

OIDA Events: SDN and Data Centers, Roadmapping, and the Annual Forum

OIDA is hosting some upcoming events that merit some extra attention in this newsletter. Be sure to look for them. Other events are listed in the Events section of this newsletter.

First, we are co-hosting again a workshop at OFC 2014 with CIAN, and this year we will explore how well photonics can meet the promises of SDN-software defined networking. SDN is too easily used as the latest buzzword-the Next Big Thing to sweep the industry-but it has gathered some momentum. While the systems architects have grand visions for what it can do, there is also the reality of how the photonic gear actually operates. This workshop will look at the match (or mismatch, as the case may be) of the system vision vs. the reality. The data center offers a more controlled application of SDN, and so we will examine that application in particular. OIDA and CIAN examined data center photonics in two previous workshops at OFC. The upcoming workshop will be on Sunday, 9 March in San Francisco. (Note: the order of speakers in the posted agenda is subject to revision.)

OIDA is also hosting a panel discussion on optical communication roadmapping on the OFC show floor and an update on the National Photonics Initiative (NPI). OIDA, standards bodies, and others have worked for years on various photonics roadmaps, applied toward different applications. In fact, there is a long history of roadmapping in optical communications, more so than in most other photonics segments. OIDA has invited speakers to address roadmaps from MIT, iNEMI, ITRS, and the standards bodies, and we will lead a discussion about where these efforts are leading. This OFC session is intended to be informational, but it will also help the National Photonics Initiative (NPI) effort, and the session will include an update on the NPI. The show floor session will be on Tuesday, 11 March from 11:00-12:45.

Look for OIDA at the Laser Focus World Marketplace Seminar this year. Tom Hausken will make a market presentation on passive optics. Passive optics products are well known to visitors of the major exhibitions, but the segment is poorly characterized by market analysts. This is in part because the products are perceived as the "nuts and bolts" of the industry, commodities lacking the sex appeal of hotter technologies. Also, the supply has been fragmented among many "mom and pop" vendors, making it difficult to gather information. To our knowledge, OIDA has gathered the only information of this kind of anyone in the industry. OIDA is also sponsoring the reception for the Laser Focus event, which will be at the Marriot Marquis in San Francisco on Monday, 3 February, collocated with Photonics West.

OIDA reported on its 20th Annual Forum in last month’s OSA Corporate Associates newsletter. Highlights of the 2-day event include speakers from government agencies and Congress on funding and cybersecurity, a view from a Brazilian system vendor of 100G equipment, an investment bank’s perspective on the paltry $40M in venture financing last year, the Fraunhofer Institute’s painful transition to a less academic focus, a view from China Mobile and its 760 million customers, Ovum’s market perspectives, and many more. The Forum was held in Washington DC in November. Make plans to attend our 21st Annual Forum in November 2014.

If you have questions or would like information about any of these events please call 202-416-1474 or email


OIDA Latest Market Update

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. 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 featured the following topics:
  • An update on selected segments of the optical data communications market
    • FTTX: dominated by China, GPON is now outpacing EPON, growth will be in 10G.
    • Mobile backhaul: carriers racing to keep up with mobile data apps.
    • Developments in 100G and beyond: 100G is happening, SONET/SDN not so much, and SDN is the next big thing (see the upcoming OIDA workshop collocated at OFC on 9 March).
  • An examination of additive manufacturing and 3D printing, particularly with respect to sales of lasers and optics. Now is an auspicious time for 3D printing, with opportunities in niche laser categories and in-situ optical monitoring, both directed at higher-end systems.
Visit the Publications Page to view this timely report as well as the complete report library:


Update on the OIDA Consortium Effort

OIDA worked throughout 2013 to resolve some long-standing roadblocks in OEIC manufacturing, particularly on the so-called assembly-side of OEIC manufacturing. Highlights of that effort include the NPI white paper document from last winter, an event on 30 May in Washington, a working group effort over the summer, and two workshops in November in Washington (eg, here). The 2013 effort was aimed at getting the pieces in place; the overall aim is to actually remove the roadblocks through teamwork.

In the fall, OIDA refined its planning to include parallel tracks, with each track aimed at a separate goal, such as standardized commercial test equipment. The effort within each track would balance the identification of technical targets with a review of the business case or market opportunity. Resources are needed to support the effort, and OIDA submitted a proposal to NIST to fund some of the legwork to carry it out. OIDA is committed to this effort, but support from NIST would accelerate it and improve the probability of success.

The U.S. photonics community is not accustomed to working together in this way, and finding agreement will take a great effort. Participation is welcome. For information, please contact Tom Hausken.

Public Policy Update

Over the past couple of months, Congress has taken steps forward on a number of important pieces of legislation. In December, both houses were able to pass a defense authorization bill, as well as a new budget deal.

The National Defense Authorization Act for fiscal 2014 passed through both the House and Senate in December, and was signed into law by President Obama on 26 December 2013. The act is a compromise drafted by the House and Senate Armed Services Panel designed to move quickly through both chambers without amendments.

The Defense Authorization Act addresses a wide range of military issues, including sexual assault in the military, Guantanamo Bay prisoners, and operations in Afghanistan. The bill also outlines how much the Pentagon can spend, which has decreased significantly compared to last year, reflecting that the war in Afghanistan is winding down.

The House passed a bipartisan budget deal in the third week of December 2013 that was co-written by Republican Paul Ryan, and Democrat Patty Murray. The Senate voted on the bill shortly after, and it passed by a majority. President Obama signed the bill into law on 26 December 2013.

The budget deal is an attempt to avoid future government shutdowns, and outlines the federal budget for the next two fiscal years. The legislation sets discretionary spending at over $1 trillion, and replaces the budget cuts that would have taken place in January 2014 as a result of the sequester. This deal does not, however, address the debt ceiling. Congress will have to revisit the debt ceiling issue by 15 January 2014.

NPI Update

The National Photonics Initiative (NPI) is continuing to gain momentum through continued outreach efforts to members of Congress and the Administration. If your company is interested in becoming involved with the NPI as an official partner please contact Laura Kolton at or 202.416.1499. More information the NPI can be found at


Software Defined Photonic & Data Center Networks Workshop at OFC This March - Free to OIDA Members

09 March 2014
Held in Conjuction with OFC in San Francisco, CA, USA

Software defined networking (SDN) promises to be a key enabler for a new generation of networks by providing flexibility and control for emerging network applications. Register today for this timely workshop. OIDA Members attend for free!

Key questions to be addressed:
  • Can standard interfaces be described for photonic devices?
  • Should SDN control reach down to the photonics?
  • What PIC functions should be standardized to enable SDN?
  • What emerging standards in photonics can enable SDN?

OIDA Members attend free. Register today.

OSA Executive Forum 10 March 2014 in San Francisco, CA, USA, Held in Conjunction with OFC
Register to attend this annual OSA event connecting C-level executives from the optical communications and networking markets. Download the New Event Brochure.

On 10 March during the Executive Forum, you will connect with decision makers from the entire ecosystem in optical networking and communications. During these panel discussions, find out what the future holds from the visionaries making it happen.
  • Vertical Integration as an Element of Business Strategy
  • Packet Optical Network Evolution in a Software-centric World
  • Why are Non-Carriers Building Their Own Networks?
  • Silicon Photonics - What is it Good for?

Executive Forum will be held in conjunction with OFC, the world’s largest event for optical networking and communications professionals. Attend and get insider perspectives in an uncensored environment, while enjoying high-level networking.

OIDA Members: Buy One, Get One Free Registration - Invite a colleague or customer to attend OSA Executive Forum with you at no charge.

Register today.

OFC Advance Registration Deadline is Approaching

From core and datacenter networks to photonic integrated circuits, advances in optical networking and communications are the focus of OFC 2014. It's the place to be for the people, products and technologies to carry you into the future. Register by 10 February and save.

Share Your Work on Emerging Technologies at CLEO: 2014.

Contribute your work to the Applications & Technology conference, the highly informative, peer-reviewed conference that explores potential new applications capable of extending into the industrial or commercial domain. Applications and Technology is one of three in-depth conferences featured at CLEO, the leading international, peer-reviewed conference on lasers and electro-optics. Submit your work to the following core areas: Biomedical, Industrial, Energy/Environment, and Government & National Science, Security and Standards.

A number of engaging symposia are also being presented at CLEO. Topics include among others Advanced Ultrashort Pulse Laser Technologies in Biophotonics and Nanobiophotonics, Advances in Molecular Imaging, Advances in Neurophotonics, High Performance Optics, Optofluidic Microsystems, and Novel Light Sources and Photonic Devices in Optical Imaging. Select symposia such as these are accepting contributed work. Visit the special symposia page for more information on contributing your work and to view the list of invited speakers.

Submission Deadline: 22 January 2014, 17:00 GMT. CLEO: Applications & Technology is being held 8-13 January 2014 in San Jose, CA, USA.

Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) Users Workshop - 12 March 2014

Registration is open for the Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC) workshop. The workshop will be held during OFC, on Wednesday, 12 March 2014, at the Moscone Center, San Francisco, CA, in Room 301, from 6 PM - 9 PM.

The workshop will focus on providing practical information regarding the design considerations, material choices, and manufacturing processes needed to create Photonic Integrated Circuits. Special attention is given to Multi Project Wafers (MPW) in combination with Process Design Kits (PDK), since these have proven to significantly lower the cost and barrier to entry for PICs. This workshop brings together all MPW brokering organizations along with EDA tools, photonic design tools, design services, and packaging. This 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. Workshop will allow for plenty of time to network with the above companies.

The workshop is organized by 7 Pennies & Si2 and sponsored by ePIXfab, JePPIX, LioniX, OpSIS, Mentor, Phoenix Software, Si2, VLC Photonics, and OSA. For more information go to For registration go to


Take Advantage of New Benefits for OIDA Members!

OSA Corporate Membership and OIDA - A new alliance providing the resources your company needs to succeed. OIDA formed a strategic alliance with OSA as part of its industry activities program and OIDA members now benefit from the expanded resources and benefit package the partnership provides.Take advantage of these new benefits with your OIDA Membership.

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 -- 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 benefits. Have questions about membership? Contact Regan Pickett,, 1.202.416.1474.