Opening Remarks and Keynote: Top 7 Trends in Photonics 2021 - From Industrial Manufacturing to Quantum Computing

July 28, 2021
The opening keynote from the PhotonicsNEXT Summer Summit, which took place June 23-24, 2021.

Over the last year, Jose Pozo has seen many innovations in the photonics industry.  Innovations in areas including optical telecommunications, photovoltaics, lighting, displays, laser manufacturing, medical optics, machine vision and freeform & micro optics.  Jose Pozo of EPIC (the European Photonics Industry Consortium) covers these topics and identifies business opportunities for the audience. Areas covered include:

  • Automotive. The automotive sector has seen a huge increase in interest for LiDAR technologies, and the industry has experienced a paradigm shift in the way light is detected through the use of SPADs (Single Photon Avalanche Diodes), which will enable the next generation of integrated LiDAR solutions with the form factor and price that the automotive industry needs.
  • Europe’s lead in the micro-optics revolution. New ways of manufacturing freeform wafer-level optics have lowered costs and increased accuracy thereby providing solutions for high volume consumer markets as well as the medical and security industries.
  • Mid-infrared range technologies.  There has been an important evolution of mid-infrared range technologies - wavelengths in the 2.5 to 15 micrometre range. In recent years, the historical problem of cost has been overcome by the development of quantum cascade lasers, which are enabling new mid-infrared applications from security to environmental monitoring.
  • Medical.  For many years, end-users in the medical sector were difficult to approach by photonics companies, which offered solutions from Raman spectroscopy to hyperspectral imaging. But today, these companies have the tools and a supply chain to speed up the regulatory environment of the medical industry and reduce time to market from 10 years to around 3 years.
  • Laser welding. There is a big push to use green wavelengths to make laser welding of copper more efficient. This is exciting because on the one hand we have the laser sector, and on the other hand we have micro optics - and the inspection to actually make it happen.
  • Quantum computing. Pozo discusses quantum technologies for the end goal of quantum computing and for the shorter-term goals of gravimeters and atomic clocks. Of particular importance in this field has been development in single-photon detectors, on which quantum technologies are based.

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