Adam E. Erlich and Michael R. Feldman, Digital Optics Corp.
The telecommunications revolution is dramatically impacting the entire photonics industry. The need for higher bandwidth is requiring entirely new categories of photonic devices ranging from wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) devices to optical switches to inexpensive transceivers. Complex, small and inexpensive optical systems are needed for future telecom systems. Integrated circuit manufacturing techniques used to make diffractive and refractive optics (digital optics) and integrated micro-optical systems (IMOS) can create the sophisticated, low-cost and compact photonic components demanded by modern optical communications systems. Just as the integrated circuit became omnipresent in computer equipment, digital optics and IMOS could be equally useful for telecom applications.