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Markets on the Mind

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Report from PWest

SAN JOSE, Calif., Jan. 24, 2008 -- Crowds continued to fill the exhibition halls at Photonics West. Exhibitors were unanimous in their satisfaction with visitor traffic, and attendees with the overwhelming variety of products and technologies on display.

Many exhibiting companies had emerging markets as their targets, in particular the biomedical arenas. Other markets seen as presenting new opportunities were solar and the military.

At a marketing seminar, panelists mostly presented an optimistic portrait of the photonics industry. While some cautioned against over optimism, citing the current economic troubles, others took an entirely different tack, citing growing demand for their products. The panelists were split on the matter of outsourcing manufacturing to low-cost areas such as China.

Panelists representing larger, vertically integrated firms held that there was no need to outsource. Others, citing their own experience, said that taking advantage of low-wage labor was the key to becoming profitable.

The panelists were also split on the prospects for solar energy. While all agreed that the manufacture of solar components presented a wide variety of opportunities for photonic companies, the chances of solar reaching parity with conventional power sources any time soon was not met with unanimity. -- Charley Troy
Jan 2008
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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