Member News - December 2017

Industry Member News

11 December, 2017

Read about the New Report on Intense Ultrafast Lasers, the Talent Gab in Illumination Optics and Other Noteworthy News, Opinions & Opportunities

OSA Corporate Member Newsletter
In this Issue:

New National Academies Report on Intense Ultrafast Lasers
The National Academies of Sciences released a report on 6 December, Opportunities in Intense Ultrafast Lasers: Reaching for the Brightest Light. The report states that the U.S. has lost its dominance in high intense, ultrafast laser technology to Europe and Asia. Currently, 80 to 90% of the high-intensity laser systems and all of the highest power research lasers currently in construction or already built are overseas.

The report makes five recommendations that would improve the nation's position in the field, including for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to create a broad network to support science, applications, and technology of these lasers, as well as for DOE to plan for at least one large-scale, open-access high-intensity laser facility that leverages other major science infrastructures in the DOE complex.

OSA and our NPI partners will participate in a launch event on 12 December geared towards the federal agencies. The NPI will also co-sponsor a Hill briefing titled Lasers in America in conjunction with Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, Rep. Barbara Comstock of Virginia, Rep. Bill Foster of Virginia and ASME. Dr. Greg Quarles, OSA Chief Scientist, will moderate the briefing.

For the report, please visit here. For questions about OSA's advocacy of the report, contact Laura Kolton, OSA's senior director of government relations, here.

What Does AI Have to Do with Optics and Photonics?
Artificial intelligence (AI) is one of the hottest topics in Silicon Valley, and for good reason. Affordable access to computing power, particularly to warehouse-scale data centers, along with new computing methods such as deep learning, opens the field dramatically. You are using new deep learning AI when you use Google or Facebook language translations, or image labelling. There is no general-purpose AI platform:  there are many approaches to AI, each with its own features and weaknesses. The approach must be matched to the application. Deep learning emerged in the last few years as a powerful approach for many new applications. It is a subset of machine learning, itself just one type of AI (see figure).
Source: NVIDIA, see here.
The brain is good at finding patterns, but not for finding needles in haystacks. AI today can't do pattern recognition as well as humans in specific cases, but it never gets fatigued, so it can outperform humans in large, repetitive data sets. It can also outperform humans in specific applications, such as playing chess. AI works best in controlled contexts such as these, or controlling a robot in an assembly line. Level 5 self-driving cars on the open road are not in a controllable environment, however, and are therefore exponentially more challenging.

Is there an opportunity for optics and photonics within AI? Yes, because AI overlaps with optics in two ways:  (1) optical sensors (including image sensors) capture and process photos and video, and (2) optical interconnects are used inside data centers to process the data. These are analogous to the retina and the white matter of the brain. The retina actually includes some local processing, while the optic nerve and the white matter move signals through the brain to do the rest.

AI will require a systems-level design that spans optical sensors at the edge to the optical networks in the core. The real work is in the execution: having quality data, integrating it, and mastering the training, and some solutions may require analog or other unconventional approaches.

OIDA will feature talks on AI and related frontiers to optics and photonics at an upcoming workshop on integrated photonics at OFC, the OIDA Executive Forum also at OFC, and an upcoming workshop on optical sensors in mid-2018. Stay tuned!

The Talent Gap in Illumination Optics
Illumination is one of the oldest optics applications and is as innovative and challenging as it has ever been. There is nonetheless a shortfall of experienced design talent. It's a chicken-egg problem:  companies don't share trade secrets, but the lack of shared knowledge makes hiring challenging. This was one of the topics discussed at a recent Optical Society Incubator meeting on illumination optics, held 15-17 November at OSA headquarters in Washington DC.

Design of illumination optics is an underappreciated field. Design used to be by trial and error, but this changed around 2000 with new designs enabled by high-brightness LEDs, greater emphasis on energy efficiency and aesthetic design (such as in auto headlights), and cheaper computing. Now illumination is designed and engineered rather than using trial and error, but universities have fallen many years behind with the training provided to students. Illumination optics is often treated as an appendix to imaging optics, which it isn't. One attendee said, "It's crazy to think that a person who can create a photography lens could, right out of the box, create an illumination device. It's a different approach and a different mindset."

A lack of solid, standardized training is one of the challenges. Illumination design is learned through on-the-job training today, but companies are only willing to share publicly what they can do—their capability—but not how they do it. The designers are part of a disconnected group:  there are few technical conferences to share pre-competitive knowledge, and universities don't emphasize the subject in their courses.

What do companies do to fill the gap? They hire from other companies and they cross-train engineers and technicians from other disciplines. This requires months to hire someone, and another 6-12 months to gain experience and mentoring. This highlights the need for optics design software that is easier for non-specialists to use. The talent shortage also means many will leave for higher-paying jobs, forcing a company to start the process over. A key question is whether greater university emphasis will close this gap; the demand for new designers may peak before universities respond to the industry need. Meanwhile, internships and other programs may help to bring more qualified applicants to companies.

The meeting was hosted by representatives from OSRAM, Synopsys, ARRI, and Diffractive Optics, with partial financial support from OSRAM and Synopsys, and 6 OIDA member companies represented. For questions about the meeting, contact Marcia Lesky or Tom Hausken. See also information on OSA's Nonimaging Optical Design Technical Group, here.
Laser headlights using nonimaging optics. Source: BMW (2015).

New! Milestones in Coherent Optical Performance - Free OIDA Webinar
OSA Industry Development Associates (OIDA) and Infinera have partnered to bring you a free, interactive webinar on New Milestones in Coherent Optical Performance on 13 December at 11:00 am EST. This webinar will focus on recent performance milestones enabled by advanced coherent technologies, from both real-world deployments and research demonstrations.

What you will learn in the webinar:
  • What optical transport markets and applications are driving demand for increased capacity
  • What advanced coherent technologies are being deployed today and demonstrated for future deployment
  • Technical milestones and practical impacts achieved by the latest coherent transmission systems
Speaker:  Matthew Mitchell,
Vice President, Optical Systems Architecture,
Infinera, USA

Register NowSeating is Limited

Sponsored By:

OFC 2018 Exhibit Floor Expands to 700 Exhibiting Companies, Marks Five Year Growth Trajectory
The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exhibition (OFC), the world's leading conference and exhibition for optical communications and networking professionals, is expected to continue its growth trajectory with more than 700 exhibitors from leading global companies and more than 15,000 attendees. OFC, being held 11-15 March at the San Diego Convention Center, California, USA, has increased in overall square footage by 44% and experienced a 21% growth in exhibitors and attendees in the last five years.

According to market research firm Ovum, the optical networking and communications market grew 22% in the second quarter of 2017 and they forecast it to reach $16 billion this year. LightCounting Market Research also sees a continued growth trend in the market segment noting that, "the total market for optical components and modules used in optical communications will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 10 percent over the five-year period to 2021."
Secure your exhibit space today and capture your company's share of this growing market.

It's a Wrap! 3rd Annual OIDA Funding Accelerator Speed Meetings Focused on SBIR/STTR Funding
OIDA is committed to fostering the development and commercialization of new optics and photonics technologies that will expand the industry's product pipeline, and to offering OIDA members the opportunity to get the funding they need. We brought OIDA member companies with less than 500 employees together with top U.S. federal agencies for one-on-one meetings and presentations at OSA headquarters on 14 November. Companies had the opportunity to discuss their innovations and business model with this exclusive audience, and got an insider perspective on what specific agencies are looking to fund. The event helped government agencies better understand what our Industry can offer and how optics and photonics technologies can help them meet their goals.

Thank you to the participating agencies:  Department of Energy (DOE), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), NASA, National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Navy. And thank you to these participating OIDA member companies:  Double Helix, Endeavour Laser Technologies Inc., New Scale Technolgies, Optimax, OSP, Syntec Optics, Sun Optical Systems, Vermont Photonics Technologies Corp. and Vescent Photonics.

Left to Right: Gang Sun, Sun Optical Systems and Joseph Famiglietti, NASA during their one-on-one meeting.

Left to Right: Representatives of 4 NEW OIDA Member Companies — Eduardo Oteiza, Vescent Photonics; David Welford, Endeavour Laser Technologies, Inc.; Selen Cevher, OSP; Gang Sun, SunOptical Systems; and Aykut Balkaya, OSP.

Left to Right: Robert Smith, United States Navy gives a presentation of the overview of the NAVY SBIR.

Left to Right: Sara Hart, Syntec Optics and Joseph Famiglietti,
NASA during their one-on-one meeting.

Congratulations to OIDA Member DoubleHelix
DoubleHelix has been selected as one of the 10 winners of the Luminate 2017 competition. The CEO of DoubleHelix, Leslie Kimerling, was at OSA headquarters on 14 November for the 3rd Annual OIDA Funding Accelerator Meetings focused on SBIR/STTR. Here is a short video from Ms. Kimerling.

Welcome New OSA Industry Development Associates (OIDA) Members

Exclusive: OIDA C-Level Executive Forum at OFC on 12 March
The program for OIDA Executive Forum, held in conjunction with OFC, is now online. New this year is our Special CEO Fireside Chat where you will hear from CEO's like Alan Lowe, Lumentum, Chuck Mattera, II-VI, Jerry Rawls, Finisar and Ford Tamer, InPhi. They will provide their unique perspectives on a broad range of industry issues including:
  • View of market fundamentals in 2018 and over the next 3 years
  • Growth drivers by product, customer segment and geographies
  • Sustaining growth in a highly cyclical industry
  • Diversification into new frontiers and applications such as consumer, auto and industrial
  • Balancing investment in innovation with profitability and monetizing the innovation delivered
  • Industry Consolidation
There will be four panel presentations this year and a Keynote Presentation by Andy Bechtolsheim Founder, Chief Development Officer and Chairman of Arista.

Attend OIDA Executive Forum and take part in a unique discussion on the future of optical networking and communications that will help you grow your business and make informed strategic decisions. Network with more than 200 industry leaders as they discuss and debate technological advances and business opportunities.

OIDA Members will receive a special discount and can bring a colleague for free. Registration will open later this month. Not able to attend the entire event? OIDA members are invited to join us for the evening Networking Reception for Executive Forum Attendees and OIDA Members from 17:30 - 19:00 after the day's programming has ended.

AIM Webinar: Grand Challenges and Key Needs for 2018, Thursday, 21 December
Dr. Lionel C. Kimerling will discuss the grand challenges and key needs for commercially viable, high-volume manufacturing of photonic-enabled functionality.

The drive to continue the performance scaling of commercial electronic systems at the current pace of 1000x/10yr has created a strong demand for converged electronic-photonic systems. This convergence transition consists of four grand challenges: integration, standardization, cross-market platforms and supply chain coordination. Join us to discuss these challenges and the key needs to be fulfilled in 2018 to meet them. Read on.

2018 Class of OSA Fellows
We extend our congratulations to the following 2018 OSA Fellows representing the industry/corporate sector. Fellows are elected based on their significant contributions to the advancement of optics and photonics and are selected based on several factors, including specific scientific, engineering, educational and technological contributions, technical or industry leadership in the field as well as service to OSA and the global optics community. Learn more.
  • George Bayz, Synopsys, Inc, USA
  • Nicolas K. Fontaine, Nokia Bell Labs, USA
  • Donald Golini, SANICA Ventures, USA
  • Joseph Gortych, Opticus IP Law PLLC, USA
  • Anatoly Grudinin, Kaithree Photonics, UK
  • Nicusor Iftimia, Physical Sciences Inc., USA
  • Mike Mandina, Optimax Systems Inc, USA
  • Alan B. Petersen, Spectra-Physics, MKS Instruments, Inc., USA
  • Takashi Saida, Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corporation, Japan
  • Paul Westbrook, OFS Laboratories, USA
  • Xuezhe Zheng (PhD), Wave2Wave, USA

Plan Your 2018 Strategy with Industry Reports Available to OIDA Members
Industry leaders worldwide are planning their strategy for 2018 and beyond. A winning strategy is driven by intelligence. Have you downloaded our newest industry reports?

Reports cover areas such as:
  • Optical communications
  • Medical point-of-care technologies
  • The augmented reality/virtual reality marketplace
  • The LIDAR market
  • Mobile depth imaging
  • Solid-state lighting
  • Biophotonics
  • 3D imaging
  • Infared imaging
  • Adaptive optics
  • Integrated photonics
  • And More!
All OSA Industry Development Associates members have free access to all reports. We encourage you to browse the Publication Library to see everything available to you.

OSA Foundation (OSAF) and OIDA Member Go!Foton Celebrate World Science Day
In recognition of UNESCO's World Science Day, The OSA Foundation and Go!Foton partnered to distribute 550 kits to 270 OSA members in 40 countries. The OSAF's original goal was to provide 200 kits to interested members. Thanks to a generous gift from Go!Foton we were able to provide a kit to everyone who requested one. The Explore Optics Kit is an innovative, interactive package designed to introduce young students to the dynamic and exciting properties of light. Laser Classroom upgraded the kits to include three Light Blox LEDs which are sturdy and designed just for the classroom. These lights are perfect for mixing up the secondary colors of light (yellow, magenta and cyan) as well as for mixing a pure white light.

The OSA Foundation is always interested in partnering with OIDA members on programs. If you would like to explore opportunities please contact Chad Stark, OSAF Executive Director at 202.419.1416 or

Tis' the Season to Save on Your OSA Laser Congress Exhibition Booth
Back in Beantown! Next year's OSA Laser Congress and Exhibition is returning to Boston — the East Coast's Innovation and R&D Hub. Laser technology is advancing at an ever-increasing pace, and the applications continue to grow and fuel new discoveries. 525+ industry leaders from around the globe will be coming to the OSA Laser Congress Exhibition looking for the product solutions your company provides.

The 2018 OSA Laser Congress provides a comprehensive view of the latest technological advances in solid state lasers as well as the applications of laser technologies for industrial products and markets. Market-focused sessions and presentations describe needed technological and engineering advances required to translate these laser technologies into commercial products.

Exhibition for Two Premier Meetings:
  • Advanced Solid State Lasers Conference (ASSL) is THE international event covering all aspects of solid state laser system design and implementation.
  • Laser Applications Conference (LAC) focuses on materials processing and high intensity lasers for applications.
OIDA members save US $420 on exhibit space! Learn more.

Access the Library of Engineering and Lab Notes from Applied Optics and Learn Best Practices in the Field
Engineering and Laboratory Notes (E&L Notes), from Applied Optics, highlight laboratory methods and best practices technicians and specialists can utilize for the design, analysis, fabrication, integration, alignment, and measurement of optical components and systems. These techniques of the trade can lead to further innovations as well as networking opportunities for both authors and readers. E&L Notes Editor Brian Monacelli sums up the initiative here.

View the library of published E&L Notes. The collection includes the archived Engineering and Lab Notes columns originally published in Optics and Photonics News (OPN) and archived in Applied Optics prior to the feature's formal introduction in 2015.

Share your techniques: Applied Optics continues to seek E&L Notes to publish. Get your techniques published in a prominent venue. Submit yours today.

What's the Secret to Finding the Perfect Candidate or Job?
There are lots of job boards out there, but WorkInOptics focuses on YOUR industry. It's the most effective and efficient way to find the top quality job or candidate you are looking for. OSA Industry Development Associates member companies get 20 free job postings! Learn more and join other OIDA members who have found new hires on WiO. "Optonicus has connected with highly qualified candidates with strong skill sets through the Work-in-Optics website, and we look forward to connecting with future team members as our business grows" Tom Tumolillo, Jr., COO of Optonicus.

Unique Career Opportunity — OSA Congressional Science Policy Fellowships
Combine your interest in policy with your science background. Apply for the 2018-2019 OSA Congressional Science Policy Fellowships. Congressional Fellows spend one year on Capitol Hill working as legislative assistants on the staff of a member of U.S. Congress or Congressional Committee. Applicants must have a Ph.D. by the start of the fellowship, 1 September 2018, to be eligible. Mid- and late-career applicants are also encouraged to apply. In addition to being a great opportunity for young professionals, it is also an ideal way to spend an academic sabbatical or leave of absence from a company. Deadline to apply is 5 January 2018. To learn more about eligibility and application requirements, visit the Congressional Fellowship webpage.

Explaining the Value of OFC 2018's Exhibition & Sponsorships in China
Helen Wen, OFC's China Sales Representative, and her colleagues exhibited at the Optics Valley of China International Optoelectronic Exposition and Forum (OVC EXPO) in Wuhan, China 1-3 November. The OFC sales team used this venue as a way to expand sales efforts to promote and explain the benefits of exhibiting and/or sponsoring OFC 2018. Has your company secured your place at OFC? Learn about how OFC can benefit your company today.

Submit an OSA Senior Member Designation Request
If you are a well-established professional within the optics and photonics field, you are encouraged to request an OSA Senior Member designation in recognition of your experience and accomplishments.

Senior Member Requests are due no later than 28 February 2018. New for 2018: OSA Members can also nominate candidates for Senior Membership. Learn more.

AIM Photonics Academy Announces Internship Matching Program
AIM Photonics Academy has announced the 2018 Integrated Photonics Internship Matching Program. Through this program, participating students will have the opportunity to apply knowledge learned to a real-world industry work experience in the integrated photonics manufacturing field. AIM Academy will send an internship packet to all those who are matched with a company. To participate in this program, companies will offer travel expenses, as well as a stipend and a clearly defined work project for the students who receive the Internships. The internships are available for community college, undergraduate and graduate students.

Companies participating in the 2018 Internship Matching Program include large businesses (e.g., Intel, Lockheed Martin, and Molex) and small and medium-sized enterprises. Companies will begin reviewing applications immediately and will continue until all the internship positions are filled. Given that matches will be made on a rolling basis, materials should be submitted no later than 31 January 2018. In order to be considered for an internship, students must submit and complete the application along with a brief cover letter (200-300 words) and resume as one document. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. Please note that only U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for the AIM Academy Internship Matching Program.

See here for the program website. For additional information about the 2018 Internship Matching Program, please contact Yashu Kauffman, PhD, Director of Assessment & Evaluation, at

Invitation to Join the LinkedIn Optics and Photonics Industry LinkedIn Group
Join 3,000+ of your colleagues in our 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!
Linkedin Link Now...

Take advantage of your OSA Industry Development Associates (OIDA) Member Benefits
We are committed to ensuring the value of your OSA Industry Development Associates Membership, so please email OSA if you have any suggestions for new programs or comments on your membership.

Forward this message to your colleagues.

Not yet a member? Learn more about the benefits of membership.

OSA Industry Development Associates (OIDA) Committee
Thank you to the volunteers who oversee the programs and services available to the Industry Community.

 • Alex Fong,
    Gooch & Housego, Chair

 • Claudio Mazzali,
    Corning, Inc., Chair-Elect

 • Henrik Skov
    Ibsen Photonics

 • Simin Cai,
• John Dexheimer,
    Lightwave Advisors

 • Fred Leonberger,
    Technologies, LLC

 • Mike Mielke,

 • Martin Seifert
 • Costel Subran,
    Opton Laser

 • Christoph Harder,
    Harder and Partner

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