Member News - September 2019

Industry Member News

01 October, 2019


Read about 5G Deployment, Autonomous Vehicles, a Special Announcement from OIDA, Advocacy, Special Events, New Reports and Other Noteworthy News, Opinions & Opportunities


OSA Corporate Member Newsletter


In this Issue:

Special Announcement from OIDA Staff and the OIDA Council

OIDA has evolved to serve you better! In response to member feedback, we are delighted to officially announce a new customizable membership model for 2020 with many new and enhanced member benefits.

What's the big deal about this new membership structure?

  • Customize Your Benefits: Determine your company's goals for the year and select the exact benefits that will help you reach them. In other words, pay for what you want to use! Each membership tier will have basic, advanced, or premium options with a choice of selecting up to five benefit categories.
  • Flexible Dues Pricing: Staggered fees for each tier enables you to maximize your budget, with the premium option giving you access to all the bells and whistles. And new this year — add additional member listings for $100 per subsidiary. Now they too will have access to your selected membership benefits at an incredibly low cost.
  • Better Membership Benefits: OIDA is growing in size and scope. You can now access more research, benchmarking, market intelligence and events to grow your business. New benefits have been added and several existing benefits have been enhanced to provide a better member experience.

The optics and photonics industry is going through an exciting time, and OIDA is here to provide best in class resources and unparalleled opportunities to grow your business within this community. Current members will be contacted directly by OIDA staff about this enhanced new membership model and more information will be available to non-members in the next couple of months.

We are here to support you and your colleagues in every department with the right solutions — and our new membership structure will deliver the results you are looking for in 2020 and beyond. Please contact OIDA Membership at or +1.202.416.1474 with any questions or comments.

Build your business with OIDA



5G Deployment is Underway, Ready or Not

By now it's well known that 5G mobile service is the Next Big Thing not just for the wireless market, but for the telecommunications market overall. But the migration from 4G to 5G will not be just another increment, but a leap in both technology and network management. The goal is to enable many new Internet of Things applications, such as so-called smart cities that connect to vehicles, and cloud-based fast connections for virtual and augmented reality. Carriers are clamoring to prove that that they are 5G ready, led by China, South Korea, and Japan (see U.S. progress here), and 5G handsets are launching this year (see here). The leap in technology means greater opportunity, as well as greater risk that it may fall short of expectations. Yet, market analysts are confident that the momentum is building, and that will mean needs for new optical devices.

The July issue of the OIDA Market Update explores the topic, and includes the following forecast from market research firm Ovum. Ovum estimates that the impact of 5G on carrier revenues will be small at first, but the impact on network traffic will be dramatic. U.S. cellular network traffic will average 24 exabytes per month this year, growing nearly threefold to over 70 exabytes per month by 2023. Ovum assumes that 5G networks will carry just a sliver of true 5G traffic 2019, but will grow dramatically, with 4G traffic declining in 2023 (while still greater than 4G traffic today).

Source: Ovum, from OIDA Market Update (July 2019).


Cisco provides a similar outlook on network traffic and connections, through its Visual Networking Index (VNI). The chart below shows its most recent estimates and forecast of global mobile devices and connections by type of wireless network. Cisco expects 5G to grow to a 3.5% share of devices and 12% share of traffic by 2022. Both Ovum and Cisco forecast strong 5G growth in coming years, reaching a significant share of traffic by 2022.

Source: Cisco VNI Mobile (2019), available here.


It's not difficult to find issues that could delay the deployment and adoption of 5G networks. Coverage may be too sparse for too long to be attractive. The innovative technology may not deliver what it promises, or the market may be too fragmented among competing standards. 5G applications may interfere with other uses for spectrum. Municipalities may panic over adding miniature base stations in their cities. Most important, how will consumers react? Will they pay for expensive handsets to get a perceived improvement in performance? Or is that asking consumers for too much too soon? If end-users don't appear quickly enough, service providers may slow deployment, which will slow the adoption of new 5G applications, making it even less attractive, in a slowing spiral. But meanwhile, 5G is continuing forward on a long path that started when the carriers acquired spectrum for the purpose. (For more on the technology, see for example here and here.) And, as if 5G is going to be a breeze, researchers are already thinking about 6G (see here).

Where does optics and photonics fit in? First, it means installing a lot of fiber to base stations located closer to the end-users (see here). Second, delivering more bandwidth at points closer to end users while reducing latency and maintaining costs means eliminating as much electronics as possible. That means using optics not just as a transport medium, but also to do some of the work of electronics. OIDA has explored this topic in previous events (such as this 2018 OIDA workshop and annual OIDA Executive Forums), and stay tuned as we explore the needs for new network components. See also the recent OIDA Market Update here.


Autonomous Vehicles Need More Optics than Just LIDAR—Part 2

We said it in the August 2018 OIDA newsletter, and we'll say it again: there is more to optics in autonomy than just LIDAR. We heard in OIDA's Forum on Optics in Autonomy that there are many attractive opportunities in other optics-enabled products that are also important for autonomous vehicles, but get less attention. These include optical networks, driver awareness, LED illumination, inertial management units, night vision, and conventional imaging for self-driving.

Inertial management units (IMUs) use miniature gyroscopes to estimate position, using dead reckoning. They are especially useful as a low latency alternative or a second opinion to GPS or local references in tunnels, urban canyons, in poor visibility or when blinded by the sun or oncoming lights, and sensor or network outages. Yole Developpement projected the market for IMUs for autonomous vehicles to be US$ 900 million by 2022, with growth over 20X for the following decade (see chart).

Automotive IMUs are an intermediate application between high end military applications using fiber optic gyros, and MEMS-based units currently in phones and autos. The high end units can range from US$ 5,000 to US$ 20,000 compared to about US$ 1 for the low end units from companies like Bosch and Murata. But the low-end performance needs to be about 10X better for self-driving cars. Either an optical technology needs to address this lower price, or the MEMS version have to improve in performance. Analog Devices is aiming its MEMS-based products for a sweet spot in the several hundred dollar range for lower level autonomy, to about US$ 1,000 for full robotaxis. The target for drift is about 5 degrees per hour, a level achieved only by expensive fiber optic gyros up to now.

Source: Yole Développement (February 2018). See here.


Amit Mehta from North American Lighting (NAL) pointed out that headlights and other illumination sources have become sophisticated in recent years. There are now about 160-170 components in a headlight. NAL is owned by Koito Group of Japan. It's not a small business: Koito alone has revenues of about US$ 8 billion per year, selling mostly lighting and signaling for automobiles, aircraft, and ships.

OIDA speakers Amir Bar Niv (left, Vice President, Aquantia) and Byron Hill (right, Vice President, TE Connectivity).


These are just some highlights, there is much more. The OIDA Forum on Optics in Autonomy was held on 27 June 2019 in San Jose, California, with help from sponsor Laser Components. OIDA members can access the presentations here. See also our comments in the August issue of the OIDA newsletter here.

OSA is also featuring optics in autonomous systems in the upcoming OSA Frontiers in Optics (FiO) meeting, in Washington DC on 15-19 September. That program will feature market overviews from Yole Développement and AUVSI, LIDAR systems, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), connectivity, and a panel discussion on safety. Click here for details on the autonomy theme, and links to the rest of the FiO program.


Deconstructing Photonics21's Report of Leveraged Public Funding

On 8 August 2019, the European public-private partnership (PPP) Photonics21 reported that its projects receive 5 euros of funding from partners for every 1 euro of funding from the European Commission. This is good news, since the public funding is contingent on this outside multiplier. The tally was done by Tematys, a research firm, and is available here. It notes that over €445 million was committed to photonics projects during the period of Horizon 2020, the 7-year R&D program that is soon ending. The funding went to 275 small and medium enterprises, and 281 larger companies.


The contract signed in December 2013 that establishes the PPP committed the private side to "investment of a factor of 4 on top of the EC contribution in activities directly related to the specific objectives of the PPP." The PPP has therefore surpassed that goal—spending itself over €2.2 billion over the period in addition to the Commission funding—helping to make the case that Photonics21 is one of the better performing partnerships in the European Commission portfolio.

The press release specifically says the leverage is coming from companies. "For every €100 invested in photonics, the total leverage of investment by companies in the projects and the aftermath is €500 from follow up investments in R&D, production, and commercial effort." This is important because it identifies company spending, not spending by other governmental agencies. A 5:1 ratio is remarkable, suggesting that the partnering companies were serious about the investments, and not just acting as "European project mills", doing contract research that doesn't lead anywhere or is not seriously backed up with their own resources.

The announcement contrasts with a statement made on 17 June 2019 (here) that photonics small and medium enterprises are committed to invest €100 billion in Eu rope over the course of the upcoming Horizon Europe program, which will span 2021-2017. OIDA commented on that statement in the July issue of the OIDA newsletter.

Meanwhile, the German trade association Spectaris reported that by 2030, photonics will deliver at least 11% of the savings in CO2 that was targeted in the Paris climate agreement. The press release cites photonic solutions such as LED lighting, photovoltaic energy generation, and optical communications. The German language report was announced on 25 June 2019 at Laser Munich. The press release is available here.


New! RSVP to OIDA Networking Happy Hour on Monday 16 September at FiO

Join us for drinks and light hors d'oeuvres at the OIDA happy hour at FiO. Don't miss this exclusive member opportunity to network with your colleagues before the exhibition opens!

Date: Monday 16 September
Time: 17:00 — 18:00
Location: Please RSVP by Monday 9 September by email to or call +1.202.416.1474 to receive the event location.

A detailed confirmation will be sent following your RSVP — we look forward to seeing you soon!


RSVP to OIDA Market Update Dinner on Tuesday 24 September at ECOC

OIDA members are invited to a complimentary Market Update Dinner for senior level executives — network with industry leaders while enjoying a fun culinary experience! Come hear Ovum's Principal Analyst, Optical Components, Lisa Huff present a brief update of the market in 2019 and expectations for 2020 and beyond.

Date: Tuesday 24 September
Time: 18:30 — 20:30
Location: Please RSVP online by Monday 16 September to receive the event location.

A detailed confirmation will be sent following your RSVP — we look forward to seeing you soon!


Complimentary Webinar Sponsored by OIDA Member Luminate
Thursday, September 12 at 1:00 PM ET: Advancing Optics, Photonics, and Imaging Technologies Using Resources in the Rochester Region

Every entrepreneur and scientist faces obstacles in moving a product from lab to launch. Those developing technologies in optics, photonics, and imaging encounter additional industry-specific challenges, such as accessing specialized laboratories, custom equipment, interested investors, and experienced mentors. Rochester, NY is an OPI land of opportunity.

Attend this free webinar to learn why Rochester is uniquely positioned to accelerate OPI innovations, and how to leverage the ecosystem to advance your own technologies. Learn more.

Sponsored by:

Presented by:


Program Announced for the OSA Laser Applications Conference
30 September-2 October, Vienna, Austria


Top 5 reasons to attend:

  1. Unique invited speaker format for industry — hear from 30+ thought leaders in industrial applications.
  2. Network with both scientific and industrial leaders in the laser field. Over 500 of your colleagues are expected to attend.
  3. Strong program focus on Materials Processing and Applications for High Power Lasers.
  4. Enhanced exhibition with nearly 50 companies.
  5. You'll witness innovative solutions and thought-leadership on and off the show floor that will accelerate your business.

Learn more and view the program.


Call for 2020 Award Nominations


Recognize the outstanding contributions of your colleagues through an OSA Award or Medal nomination.

The awards below specifically recognize the achievements of engineers, business leaders, inventors, innovators and entrepreneurs. View a full list of OSA awards. Nominations are due 1 October 2019.


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.





2010 Massachusetts Ave., N.W. 
Washington, D.C. 20036 USA
+1 202.223.8130