Member News - October 2019

Industry Member News

01 October, 2019


Read about Quantum Picks and Shovels, Optical Communications Components, the Brightest Light Initiative, Advocacy, Special Events, New Reports and Other Noteworthy News, Opinions & Opportunities

OSA Corporate Member Newsletter


In this Issue:

Quantum Picks and Shovels

The commercialization of "Quantum 2.0" is already underway, with products such as optical clocks and gravimeters, but there will also be opportunities selling quantum "picks and shovels" while the industry races to commercialize more challenging quantum computer and quantum communication networks. That was one of the messages from a town hall session on quantum photonics at last month's OSA Frontiers in Optics conference, in Washington, DC.

Quantum photonics market panel (left to right): Tom Tongue (TOPTICA Photonics), Joseph Thom (M Squared Lasers), Brenton Young (AO Sense), Mercedes Gimeno-Segovia (PsiQ), and William Munro (NTT).


OIDA organized the discussion, which included a presentation on the quantum market today and in the future. It's not necessarily a market in the usual sense; the conventional product market (shown below at left) is still at an early stage, with the future size and timeline very speculative. However, there is another market (at right in the figure), for the tools and labor required for research and development (R&D). The funding comes from corporate spending on R&D, venture investment in start-up companies, and government spending on R&D in national labs and universities. The funding is spent on labor and hardware, such as lasers, optical benches, dilution refrigerators, and microwave cables.

Source: OIDA (2019).


At such an early stage, the R&D market can be as large or larger than the conventional market, amounting to the low hundreds of millions of dollars per year in sales of hardware, and low thousands of researchers and staff. It's a "picks and shovels" adjacent market because it supports the conventional market, but does not necessarily go into the final product. It's similar to the sale of expensive ultrafast lasers for biophotonics R&D; such high-end lasers are aimed exclusively for research labs. The term dates to the California Gold Rush, where the most money was made selling picks and shovels, while most of the speculating miners went broke. Today, it often refers to an investing strategy (see here).

OIDA is preparing a roadmap on quantum photonics, and conducted some initial interviews and focus group discussions during the conference to gather information. OIDA will be going deeper into this effort in the next months, for report release in 2020. For questions about the roadmap, or if you want to contribute, please contact Tom Hausken at


Optical Communications Components are Steady

In an upcoming OIDA Market Update report and at the OIDA Market Update dinner in Dublin last month, Ovum reported that the optical communication components market is relatively steady at about US$ 9.5 billion in annualized revenues. The chart below shows Ovum's recent estimates of component revenues for the communications sector. The variation is only about ±2.5% range over the period, but appears exaggerated in the chart, which spans only the range of US$ 2.0 to US$ 2.5 billion.

Source: Ovum (from the OIDA Market Update report).


Ovum says the largest gains were made by Innolight, OE Solutions and Lightron, with the latter two gaining from deployments of transceivers for mobile fronthaul for 5G networks in Korea. Innolight's gain is due to improved shipments to data center customers utilizing 40G and 100G products. For cumulative sales over the last four quarters, Lumentum and Finisar were again number 1 and 2 for market share, respectively. Once II-VI and Finisar merge, the combined company will become first in market share.

Ovum expects the segment to be flat or a slight increase in 2019 compared to 2018. This is good news, considering the current anxiety surrounding trade policy. With the US government adding another 15% tariff on goods from China, both US and Chinese companies are becoming increasingly concerned that this will affect sales of components and equipment. But the flatness in revenues starkly contrasts with the strong growth in capital spending by hyperscale data center operators like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Facebook.

For more information, look for the upcoming OIDA Market Update (here).


An Update on the Brightest Light Initiative

OSA advocates for OIDA members and the community in many efforts, including the Brightest Light Initiative, aimed at U.S. opportunities in high-brightness lasers. The initiative is a response to a U.S. National Academy of Sciences report, Opportunities in Intense Ultrafast Lasers, released in December 2017, that pointed out that the U.S. has fallen behind in this class of laser technology. The current lasers are in the petawatt class, with intensities in the range of 1022 W/cm2. The total energy may be only about 100 Joules, approximately the kinetic energy of a fast baseball, but delivered over a period of femtoseconds to micron-size spot. The European Extreme Light Infrastructure (ELI) project is aiming at exawatt lasers, with intensities 1,000 times greater.

Current petawatt-class lasers with totals by region.
Source: U.S. National Academy of Sciences report (2018), p. 7.


OSA hosted a workshop to launch the initiative's efforts, on 27-29 March 2019 at OSA headquarters in Washington DC. The workshop attendees compiled a list of short-and long-term goals for upgrading the performance of nine existing laser facilities in the U.S. The initiative's co-chair John Zuegel spoke about the effort at OSA's Frontiers in Optics conference last month, described in OSA's Optics & Photonics News (here).

Jon Zuegel at OSA's Frontiers in Optics conference.


The official workshop report is expected this fall, which will be followed by an extended advocacy effort to build U.S. government funded programs for the technology. For more questions on OSA's advocacy in this topic, please contact OSA's Senior Director of Government Relations, David Lang, at See also the recent article in OSA's Optics & Photonics News, here.


Welcome New OIDA Members





RSVP for OIDA Member Benefit Orientation on 9 October

RSVP for OIDA's member benefit overview orientation on 9 October at 13:00 EDT. This is an opportunity to learn more about key membership benefits you and your company should be taking advantage of and explore how to maximize performance and grow your business.

Whether you have been an active member for years and need a quick refresh or are transitioning to the new OIDA membership model — this orientation is a must-attend! Please feel free to share this with your colleagues. When you join OIDA, everyone at your organization becomes a member.


Congratulations Headwall Photonics, Inc., Special Projects Team - 2019 Paul F. Forman Team Engineering Excellence Award Winner

The Headwall Photonics, Inc., Special Projects Team received the 2019 award for the successful development of a compact, rugged, and lightweight imaging spectrometer, optimized for cost-effective airborne retrieval of chlorophyll fluorescence emission signatures monitoring plant health in near-real-time at simultaneously high spectral and spatial resolutions. David Blair, Headwall's director of strategic programs, pictured with OSA 2019 President Ursula Gibson, accepted the award on behalf of the team. Learn more.



AIM Photonics Academy Fall Meeting


The AIM Photonics Academy is hosting its fall meeting on 10-11 October, near the MIT campus in Boston. The program once again features topics in integrated photonics as well as its ongoing technology roadmapping effort. See here for the agenda, and here for registration.


Registration is also open for the AIM Hands On Integrated Photonics Bootcamp, 13-17 January, at the MIT campus. See here for more details.


OSA's Inaugural 5G Summit Provides an Overview of the Entire 5G Ecosystem


Examine critical 5G technologies that will become core features for your business! This Summit will provide a platform for industry leaders, innovators and academic researchers and the government community to collaborate, learn and exchange ideas about this emerging technology.

Discussion Topics Include:

  • Mid-band Microwaves (3-6 GHz)
  • Millimeter-wave Band (24 GHz)
  • Massive MIMO
  • New Radio Access Technologies (Including New Antenna Designs and Bean Forming Approaches)
  • Cell Design
  • Evolved Network Architectures and Deployment Strategies
  • Fiber Optics
  • RAN Backhaul and Fronthaul Considerations
  • Data Transport Approaches
  • RF Technologies

Hear experts from: Sprint, China Telecom, Nokia, Futurewei, Finisar, Lumentum and ADVA Optical.

Register Today!


New Opportunities for Companies in Advanced Optics, Advanced Sources, AI/Deep Learning, Biomedical, Imaging, Optical Communications, Quantum Technologies and Sensing Optics

OSA has 8 meetings in 2020, which will create an intimate setting where exhibitors and sponsors can have substantive discussions about product needs with attendees. We have identified 8 hot topics for 2020. These are areas of high interest in the optics and photonics industry, where research and technology is advancing and defining the future of the industry. Find your match and secure your company's participation today.

Learn more in our 2020 OSA Congresses and Topical Meetings Exhibitor and Sponsorship Prospectus.

Grow sales, reach key buyers, and network with leaders. Reserve your space today.


PR Information for OFC

The OFC PR Team provides unparalleled services, including essential public-relations tools and social-media information to help your company achieve its outreach goals. Opportunities this year include OFC First News (deadline 12 February) and the Breakfast Briefings program. Make sure to register your organization's PR and/or marketing contact to receive the OFC Exhibitor PR Newsletters, deadline reminders, media opportunities and the advanced pre-registered media and analyst list.


Invitation to Join the OIDA Optics and Photonics Industry LinkedIn Group

Join 3,000+ of your colleagues in our OIDA 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...



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 Research &
    Development Corp, Chair

 • Simin Cai,
    Go!Foton, Chair Elect

• John Dexheimer,
    LightWave Advisors, Inc.

• Turan Erdogan,
    Plymouth Grating
    Laboratory, Inc.

 • Amy Eskilson,
    Inrad Optics

 • Christoph S. Harder,

 • Inge Kabert,
    Thorlabs Inc.

 • Frederick J. Leonberger,
    EOvation Advisors LLC

 • Debbie Wilson,
    Lumentum Operations Inc.





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