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Emerging Applications Eyed

Photonics.com
Nov 2008
BALTIMORE, Nov. 3, 2008 -- With the ever-increasing presence of optoelectronics in most aspects of daily life, significant emerging applications of optoelectronics and critical business issues will be the focus of the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association's (OIDA) 17th Annual Forum Nov. 19 and 20 at the Tremont Suites Hotel in Baltimore.

CEOs and other high-level executives from industry will offer their perspectives on rapidly growing and emerging optoelectronics markets including the areas of biophotonics, telecom, energy/green, and aerospace. Government representatives from agencies that fund optoelectronics research and development will present their perspectives on their interests and opportunities.

Since the forum will take place shortly after the presidential elections, it will seek to obtain perspectives from the winning candidate’s staff on prospective technology policy issues with special emphasis on environmental, energy, and green issues.

The OIDA Annual Forum brings together high-level perspectives on strategy, policy, trends, and markets into an intense one-and-a-half day meeting; it also provides attendees with unparalleled opportunities for networking.

Kicking off this year's event will be keynote speaker Waguih Ishak, vice president & director, West Coast Research, Corning Inc., who will discuss "Optoelectronics Technology for Consumer Applications – The High Volume Driver." His talk will be followed by presentations under the heading, "Telecommunications -- Where is the Next Market?"

Telecommunications was the principal driver of the development of optoelectronic devices. The "bursting of the bubble” nearly decimated the industry, leaving the surviving companies weakened and searching for new markets. Today, however, the rapid explosion of data, music, and video transmission has strained the existing data pipelines. What form will next generation telecommunications take? What devices will support it? What are the technological and market barriers? These questions will be addressed during the telecommunications segment Nov. 19.

Richard Smart, vice president of product management for Avanex, will talk on 40 G and Beyond. The Rise and Future of Photonic Integration will be discussed by Steve Grubb, senior director of optical systems at Infinera. Talking about telecommunications from 40 to 100 G will be Terry Unter, president and CEO of Mintera.

The telecom segment will conclude with a panel discussion moderated by OIDA's David Huff.

The next major topic of discussion will be biophotonics, and overcoming barriers to market entry, such as clinical trials and approval by federal agencies. Photonics has already revolutionized treatment methods in medicine, and research in biology and biochemistry. Many more opportunities for photonics applications exist, but the barriers to success are not necessarily only technical. Electrical engineers, materials scientists, and physicists are usually the founders and executives of optoelectronic companies. Medical doctors, biologists, chemists and life sciences experts, on the other hand, are the primary decision makers on the other side. Both groups bring different terminology, culture, and approaches to solving problems.

Speaking on adapting military photonics technology to medical applications will be Mark Bendett, director of medical products, Lockheed Martin Aculight. He will be followed by Jason Eichenholz, chief technology officer for Ocean Optics, who will address photonic biosensing applications. Adapting Raman Amplifiers Developed for Telecom to Chemical/Biological Sensing will be the focus of a talk by Kevin Knopp, vice president of business development for Ahura.

The segment will end with a panel discussion led by Tom Dudley, assistant director of technical programs at the Boston University Photonics Center.

The next major segment will be: Hot New Topics – Hype or Opportunity? Popular media constantly reports innovations in photonics that will revolutionize society, provide abundant cheap energy, and cure cancer. Some will evolve into truly huge market opportunities; others will fall by the wayside after consuming considerable investor and corporate resources. OIDA has selected a few leading "hot topics” for a panel to discuss. How realistic are the prospects for the technology given competing technologies and market realities? What are their next steps and issues?

Presenting a talk on the hot topic of silicon photonics in communications will be Vijay Albuquerque, president and CEO of Lightwire. He will be followed by a presentation on advanced imaging by Ravi Athale, principal scientist, Emerging Technology Office, Mitre Corp.

OIDA President and CEO Michael Lebby will discuss green photonics, while telecom and photonic integrated circuits will be the topic of a presentation by Yves LeMaitre, vice president of sales and corporate marketing for Bookham Inc.

The Hot Topics segment will conclude with a panel discussion moderated by Marko Slusarczuk, director of government programs for OIDA.

The first day of the annual forum will conclude with the segment, Sensors for Infrastructure Monitoring - New Market Opportunities. The recent collapse of the bridge in Minneapolis-St. Paul has brutally reminded this country that much of its infrastructure is aging. How do companies already apply photonics to ensure that the infrastructure is safe and reliable? What other areas offer opportunities?

Radu Barsan, president and CEO of Redfern Integrated Optics will speak on how novel semiconductor lasers enable effective infrastructure monitoring. "Static and Dynamic Strain Measurement for Bridges, Tunnels, Dams and Other Smart Structures" will be presented by Tom Graver, Director, Optical Sensing Group, Micron Optics. Pipeline monitoring and smart grid applications will be the focus of a talk by Paul Sanders, Partner, Qorex, while chemical detection -- industrial process and transportation security will be presented by Robert Lieberman, president and CTO, Intelligent Optical Systems.

The Sensors for Instrastructure Monitoring segment will conclude with a panel discussion led by David Krohn, Light Wave Venture.

The forum's second day will include discussions of photonics in defense aerospace solutions, aerospace and defense trends and photonics market entry issues, and custom imagery, sensing, and fiber optic systems for defense and aerospace. Three major players in these sectors will present their perspectives on the types of devices and capabilities for which they foresee a need. They will also discuss the strict quality, reliability, and performance requirements of this market as well as the procedural aspects of becoming a subcontractor to the major systems developers. Two smaller suppliers will present their experiences in penetrating this market and provide insights into potential pitfalls and traps.

The two-day forum will conclude with a panel discussion on government funding of optoelectronics featuring participants from DARPA, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the Department of Energy.

For more information, visit: www.oida.org


GLOSSARY
optoelectronics
A sub-field of photonics that pertains to an electronic device that responds to optical power, emits or modifies optical radiation, or utilizes optical radiation for its internal operation. Any device that functions as an electrical-to-optical or optical-to-electrical transducer. Electro-optic often is used erroneously as a synonym.
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
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