Photonics companies prep for the future

March 20, 2023
While the lineup at the Laser Focus World Executive Forum covered a wide array of topics, there was a very common theme across the presentations and panels: preparing photonics companies for the future.

While the lineup at the Laser Focus World Executive Forum covered a wide array of topics, there was a very common theme across the presentations and panels: preparing photonics companies for the future.

Accenture’s Miles Klingenberg presented about the semiconductor industry, including some of the industry’s challenges, trends, and the opportunities resulting from interesting new applications. Specifically, he dove into the important role artificial intelligence (AI) could play in the future.

Optica CTO Jose Pozo moderated an engaging panel on silicon photonics (SiP). The panelists represented an array of players within this future-focused sector of photonics debating what role SiP could play as the industry continues to mature, and what’s necessary to overcome the obstacles keeping SiP from being the leading technology today.

Additionally, Leonardo Electronics’ Robert Walker moderated a panel on directed energy with the entire spectrum of players active within the field, from researchers at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, a component supplier in Leonardo Electronics, and a few prime contractors (Lockheed Martin and Raytheon). They discussed the advancement of laser-based warfare, and what it means to other component suppliers.

SPIE’s Jennifer O’Bryan gave an update on the U.S. funding to position the country as the leading producer of next-generation chips. This is not only a key initiative for the larger U.S. tech industry, it represents significant opportunities for photonics-based companies to play pivotal roles.

During the sit-down keynote, Thorlabs president Jennifer Cable discussed the importance of building a company culture. Then, the day ended with a riveting panel on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). How does this focus on DEI relate to the other topics? It is a dedication to diverse talent that brings about the full array of creativity needed to fuel the type of innovation needed as the industry moves into its next phase of maturity.

About the Author

Peter Fretty | Market Leader/Group Editorial Director, Laser & Military

Peter Fretty began his role as the Market Leader, Laser & Military in June 2023; the group encompasses the Laser Focus World, Military & Aerospace Electronics, and Vision Systems Design brands. He also serves as Group Editorial Director, Laser & Military (effective spring 2023) and served as Editor in Chief of Laser Focus World since October 2021. Prior to that, he was Technology Editor for IndustryWeek for two years.

As a highly experienced journalist, he has regularly covered advances in manufacturing, information technology, and software. He has written thousands of feature articles, cover stories, and white papers for an assortment of trade journals, business publications, and consumer magazines.

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