Member News - August 2018

Industry Member News

14 August, 2018




Read about Autonomous Vehicles, Brain Funding Opportunities, Export Rules, Advocacy, Special Events, New Reports and Other Noteworthy News, Opinions & Opportunities

OSA Corporate Member Newsletter


In this Issue:

Autonomous Vehicles Need More Optics than Just LIDAR

There is a lot of anticipation for driverless cars on city streets, but autonomous vehicles have already been demonstrated successfully for several years in more structured environments. For example, Caterpillar introduced an autonomous truck as early as 1996 and its autonomous mining trucks have been operating since 2013. John Deere has had self-driving, GPS-guided farm equipment for years, including prototypes that omit the driver cab altogether. And unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) have a longer history for military use.

LIDAR will be a key technology for future autonomous vehicles, but more optical equipment than just LIDAR will be needed to navigate in so-called edge cases and challenging weather conditions. Such environments include off-road driving, military situations where active (illuminated) imaging may not be desirable, and in tunnels and other places where GPS may be unavailable.

We can expect to hear more about the inertial measurement unit (IMU). Inertial technology ranges from fiber optic gyros at the high end, such as for aircraft and missiles, and MEMS at the lower-cost, lower-performance end. Self-driving cars require that in inertial measurement drift be less than 5 degrees per hour. While fiber gyros can deliver that performance, at about $5,000 each, the cost is still too high for commercial markets.

A fiber optic gyro unit for self-driving cars. Source: KVH Industries, Inc.


Sony is working diligently on conventional image sensors with a number of innovations and improved performance, including a wide dynamic range that improves on human capability by 20%. It's possible that the car of the future will need headlights only to alert pedestrians and other vehicles rather than for the driver or its vehicle guidance.

Meanwhile, as we transition from level 3 driver assistance to full autonomy, we still have drivers, and drivers get distracted. The 2018 Cadillac CT6 is equipped with the Seeing Machines driver-facing monitoring system. The technology has been in commercial fleet trucks for several years, to alert drivers and fleet managers to distracted behavior. Seeing Machines claims that drivers are distracted 30% of the time while driving, and government regulators are looking for increased monitoring to improve safely, such as outlined in this recent European NCAP roadmap report.

These are just some of the more prominent technologies coming our way, with many more coming or already here. Automakers are even reconsidering the entire automobile experience, including the seat arrangement and enhanced entertainment systems. These innovations could create new demand for high bandwidth cables and connectors, including those based on optical fiber. This would benefit companies like TE Connectivity, which has a multi-billion dollar business in automotive cables and connectors, with only a small part of that based on optical fiber today.

OSA will feature sessions discussing these topics on 17-18 September 2018 at OSA's annual Frontiers in Optics conference, in Washington DC. The event will feature a keynote presentation from Jan-Erik Kallhammer of Veoneer, a spinoff of Autoliv. The exhibit will feature equipment from Ouster, a LIDAR system vendor. See also previous OIDA newsletters and OIDA Market Updates on the topic.


Brain Funding Boosts Scientific Lasers & Optics Market

Several global governments have announced initiatives in recent years to fund brain research, such as the U.S. BRAIN initiative, the European Union's Human Brain Project, and smaller projects in Japan, South Korea, Australia, Canada, China, India, and Israel. There is even now an International Brain Initiative, assembled to communicate and coordinate among these governmental efforts. OIDA estimates that these efforts amount to at least US$ 6.5 billion of funding based on announcements made so far, with the overlapping projects spanning 10 years. While some governments may have merely reshuffled some pre-existing funding from one program to another, most of it is new money directed to this topic.

Much of this brain research depends on sophisticated optical imaging technology and optogenetics, suggesting that the initiatives will stimulate new sales of optical tools, such as ultrafast lasers and optical imaging hardware and software. In 2014, the National Photonics Initiative's PING (Photonics Industry Neuroscience Group) member companies committed greater than US$ 30 million over three years to support the U.S. BRAIN initiative. PING included ThorLabs, Spectra-Physics, Inscopix, Hamamatsu, Coherent, Applied Scientific Instrumentation, Agilent, and Accumetra.

The figure shows the funding for the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding for the BRAIN initiative for the fiscal years 2014-2026. (Not shown is BRAIN funding for other U.S. agencies.) Funding quickly ramped to a long-term base level of $250 million per year by 2017. The base funding can change from year to year, and was boosted again in FY2018, potentially setting a new base level for subsequent years. In 2016, Congress passed the 21stCentury Cures Act, promising funds in addition to the base level for ten years, beginning in FY2017.

Source: OIDA, from U.S. documents.


These global initiatives provide a welcome stimulus to the scientific market for lasers and optics, but OIDA does not expect these initiatives to spawn significant commercial products beyond the scientific market over the short term. The programs aim primarily at understanding the brain, with solutions to health care challenges to follow in the longer term. Commercializing medical tools can require time-consuming and expensive regulatory approvals and acceptance for insurance reimbursement.

More information can be found in the July issue of the OIDA Market Update, available for OIDA members. The issue also examines the market for optics-based drug discovery equipment.


U.S. Commerce Department Seeks Input on Export Rules

Beginning 1 August 2018, the Technical Advisory Committees (TACs) of the U.S. Department of Commerce, Bureau of Industry and Security are accepting proposals from stakeholders regarding outdated terminology, figures of merit, metrics, and/or references to outdated technology within the U.S. Commerce Control List (CCL). The CCL is the list of regulations that control dual-use technology, meaning technology that could be used for both military and civilian purposes. Category 6 of the CCL includes much of the optics and photonics items controlled under US export controls, such as IR sensors, lasers, and optics.


A wholesale review of the export control system, called the Export Control Reform (ECR) Initiative, began in the US in 2009 and was completed in 2016. The primary focus of that effort was to refocus the US control system on the highest priority technologies by moving less militarily significant items to the CCL, and provide a clear jurisdictional line for items controlled within the regulatory system. This helps ensure that the most militarily significant items on the US Munitions List (USML) can be controlled more effectively.

The purpose behind this new request for proposals and revisions is to build upon recent efforts to modernize and provide clarity to the U.S. CCL. This effort seeks to clean up remaining outdated language in the dual-use technology regulations that may have been left behind as bigger jurisdictional decisions were made. More specifically, the focus is to clean up outdated terminology, figures of merit, and references to outdated technology. All proposals should clearly identify the specific Export Control Classification Number (ECCN(s)) referenced for modernization within the CCL, as well as justification for the needed change, including examples where possible. Additionally, submissions should provide an appropriate point of contact for each revision document. Proposals will be accepted from 1 August 2018, through 31 October 2018.

Proposals received for updates to the CCL will be broken into two tracks, those that require an update only to US regulations and those that will need to be brought to and agreed upon by the international Wassenaar Arrangement (full name is the Wassenaar Arrangement on Export Controls for Conventional Arms and Dual-Use Goods and Technologies). Twice a year, the 42 participating countries and states meet and decide what technologies should be controlled, and then each promulgates their own regulations based on the agreement. As a member of the Wassenaar Arrangement, much of the US's CCL is mirrored in compliance with Wassenaar Regulations. Although this new effort by the Commerce Department will originate in the US, it has the potential to affect the international standards that most developed countries abide by.

OSA's Chief Scientist, Dr. Gregory Quarles, represents the optics and photonics community on the Commerce Department's Sensors and Instrumentation Technical Advisory Committee (SITAC). The other six TACs are: Information Systems; Materials Processing Equipment; Materials; Transportation and Related Equipment; Regulations and Procedures; and Emerging Technologies. The TACs are official committees within the department that advise it on the technical parameters for export control regulations. The committees include representatives from industry, academia, and government who are appointed by the Secretary of Commerce.

If you are interested to submit a proposal, or have further questions, please contact Greg Quarles or David Lang, OSA's director of government relations. See also this presentation at CLEO 2015 on the proposed CCL rule changes at that time.


Welcome New OIDA Member


Invitation to OIDA Industry Market Update Dinner on 25 September in Rome, Italy

OIDA members are invited to a complimentary OSA Industry Development Associates (OIDA) Market Update Dinner for senior-level executives on 25 September, 19:30 to 21:30 in Rome, Italy.

Come hear the founder and lead analyst at Cignal, AI, Andrew Schmitt, provide an overview of the opportunity for third generation coherent technology. The transition to the latest coherent WDM technology is underway and its effects are rippling through the optical market. It's time to take a step back and sort out where things are, what worked, who benefitted, and what happens next.

This event is free for you to attend. Seating is limited. RSVP before 11 September by email to or call +1 202.416.1474 to receive the restaurant information. RSVPs will be taken on a first-come first-served basis. A detailed confirmation will be sent after RSVP.


N.Y. Startup Accelerator Names First Winners

Double Helix Optics and three other firms secure a total investment stake of US$2 million after inaugural round of Luminate NY competition. Congratulations to OIDA Member Double Helix!


OIDA Member-Company Business Leaders and Researchers Recognized with OSA Awards

Three recipients of 2018 OSA awards are being honored for scientific contributions that have been fundamental to supporting OIDA-member companies, asphericon, Finisar, and Aeon Imaging, LLC.

Ulrike Fuchs, recipient of the Kevin P. Thompson Optical Design Innovator Award, is recognized for interlinking aspects of optical design, tolerancing, metrology and manufacturing for aspherics to enable their usage as a reasonable choice in optical systems. In 2010, she joined asphericon where she shifted her research focus as an optical designer to interlinking manufacturing of aspherics and metrology with questions in optical design. She is continuously working on concepts that allow a prediction of system performance during optical design and tolerancing processes. Today, Fuchs oversees all R&D activities as well as strategic product development at asphericon.

Steven Frisken, recipient of the David Richardson Medal, is founder of Australian optics technology firm, Finisar Australia. The award cites his seminal contributions as a researcher, inventor and entrepreneur, to a wide range of photonic technologies that have enabled the growth of the Internet. Frisken invented a liquid crystal on silicon-based wavelength selective switch, later acquired by Finisar. Such WSS products have helped shape the evolution of flexible grid optical transport networks. His research on interferometry has led to micro-optic coherent receivers for optical transmission, spectroscopy and optical coherence tomography.

Ann E. Elsner, recipient of the Edwin H. Land Medal, is recognized for her contributions to the fields of ophthalmic instrumentation and vision science with innovative imaging technologies, state-of-the-art psychophysical research and entrepreneurial ventures. As a professor at Indiana University and founder of Aeon Imaging, LLC, USA, Elsner has conducted research that has revolutionized retinal imaging by introducing novel laser sources into instruments with scanning designs, confocal properties, solid-state detectors, and specialized techniques for presenting visual stimuli. She produced the first images or biomedical application for a variety of lasers in under-utilized wavelength ranges, including Ti:Sapphire.

For more information on this year's winners and the OSA awards program, click here.


OIDA Member Go!Foton Meets with OIDA

Andrew Dougherty, Director of Industry Membership, attended the Fiber Broadband Association's Fiber Connect Expo in Nashville, TN on 5 - 6 June to connect with current members and to recruit new OIDA member companies.


Go!Foton Corporation's VP and General Manager, Michael Zammit and Andrew at the Fiber Connect Expo. Go!Foton is an OIDA member and proud sponsor of OIDA (OSA Industry Development Associates) Industry Programs and Events. Their CEO, Simin Cai has also served on the OIDA Council. Go!Foton is the founding sponsor of the OIDA VIP Speed Meeting Luncheons which bring students & early-career professionals together with Industry Leaders.


Make Better Business Decisions Faster

Tap into the OIDA Publications and Reports website, which brings you the latest market insights, roadmaps, and research you need to stay ahead of your competition.

Visit today and get leading-edge ideas, strategic thinking and practical solutions to the challenges facing your business.

Topics include:

  • Optical networking
  • Biophotonics/Life sciences
  • Machine tools and automation
  • Sensors
  • Lasers and optics
  • And more!

New Report: OIDA Market Update - July 2018 includes sections addressing the market for drug discovery, and international initiatives in brain research.


China Moves Up in Innovation Score

In an annual ranking of world economies by innovation metrics, China breaks into the top 20 for the first time.


Call for Nominations

Herbert Walther Award - recognizes distinguished contributions in quantum optics and atomic physics as well as leadership in the international scientific community. This award is co-sponsored by OSA and Deutsche Physikalische Gesellschaft (DPG). Submission Deadline: 10 August.

John Tyndall Award - recognizes an individual who has made outstanding contributions in any area of optical-fiber technology, including optical fibers themselves, the optical components used in fiber systems, as well as transmission systems and networks using fibers. This award is co-sponsored by OSA and IEEE Photonics Society. Nominations for the 2019 award should be submitted to IEEE Photonics Society . Submission Deadline: 16 August.

For a complete list of all OSA's Awards and Honors click here.


OSA Frontiers in Optics + APS Laser Science


Global interest in quantum technologies has grown considerably with numerous nations introducing multi-year, billion dollar level programs. Several academic, industrial and governments laboratories have expanded their programs in this area. These efforts range from basic research into quantum phenomena to devices development.

That's why the OSA Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science APS/DLS conference is presenting dedicated programming on Quantum Technologies. Seven technical sessions, which feature an all-invited roster of speakers, address topics from quantum sensing for industry and fundamental physics to quantum computing. This conference theme includes two Visionary talks with Sir Peter Knight, Kavli Royal Society International Center, UK and Prem Kumar, Northwestern University, USA.

The FiO + LS conference, is organized around four themes that collectively represent leading-edge applications in optics and photonics. Each theme operates as a workshop within the conference, which gives you the flexibility to do a deep-dive in one or two themes, or sample from all four. Take advantage of discounted rates when you register before 20 August.

Image: Atom interferometer, courtesy of M Squared Lasers Limited.


First of Two Keynote Presentations Announced for OIDA Executive Forum on 8 November in Boston

David Townes, Co-Founder, Needham & Company, USA, is the first of two keynotes to speak at OIDA Executive Forum this year. His talk will focus on the dynamics, size and growth outlook of different applications of lasers and the fundamental energy drivers of the outlook for key applications. Stefan Kienzle, Daimler AG will also be presenting a keynote presentation at the event. View the complete program.

Register now to attend OIDA Executive Forum at the OSA Laser Congress in Boston, MA on 8 November. Join business leaders in a dynamic discussion and share perspectives that are critical to understanding the rapidly expanding laser market. OIDA Members receive special pricing for this event, which includes a networking lunch. Registration is available as an add-on to your Congress registration, or as an add-on to your Free Exhibits Pass Plus registration.


Speakers Announced the OSA Laser Applications Conference, 5-7 November in Boston

The Laser Applications Conference (LAC) is an all invited speaker format for industry at the OSA Laser Congress. This 3-day meeting focuses on two main topic areas — Materials Processing and Applications for High Power Lasers. One of the themes of this meeting will be to initiate discussions on what engineering and production advances are needed to translate promising technological advances into marketable products.

Meet top luminaries in the field including:

Norman Hodgson,
Plenary Speaker Coherent, Inc., USA
Industrial Femtosecond Lasers for Material Processing

View all the speakers and secure your place at this must-attend event. Save when you register by 9 October.


Special Opportunities for Your Company at OFC: New Brochure Now Available Online

The fastest and most effective way to build your brand exposure and generate high-quality leads is through sponsorships and advertising at OFC 2019, the largest, most comprehensive optical communications and networking event in the world. Guarantee your company's visibility to 15,000+ attendees before, during and after the show by securing a sponsorship or advertising opportunity today. Rise above the competition at OFC and enhance your trade-show impact now.


Applied Optics Seeks Your Laboratory Expertise

Engineering and Laboratory Notes (E&L Notes), from OSA's journal for applications-centered research, Applied Optics, highlight laboratory techniques and hands-on skills technicians and specialists can utilize for the design, analysis, fabrication, integration, alignment, and measurement of optical components and systems.

E&L Notes offer engineers and specialists a prominent venue to publish observations from their engineering notebook.

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
  • To accelerate your career by having your article widely distributed through a high-quality journal that is well respected in the field
  • To provide tips, best practices, and techniques to colleagues in industry and academia

Want to learn more about E&L Notes? Read the full description of this feature or view the library of published E&L Notes. Submit an E&L Note today.


Invitation to Join the 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!


Link Now...


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

Forward this message to your colleagues.

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

 • Claudio Mazzali,
    Corning, Inc., Chair

 • Alex Fong,
    TruTag Technologies, Inc.,
    Past Chair

• John Dexheimer,
    Lightwave Advisors

• Amy Eskilson,
    Inrad Optics

 • Christoph Harder,
    Harder and Partner

 • Fred Leonberger,
    Technologies, LLC

 • Inge Kabert,

 • Martin Seifert

 • Debbie Wilson,