The Future of Photonics: Increased Innovation and Investment

Photonics is gaining popularity and is used in numerous applications, such as in the early detection of diseases, in advanced lighting technology, and in building contactless sensors.

FREMONT, CA: Innovation is in high demand in the technology sector. The optoelectronics and semiconductor industries have faced challenges in finding solutions for demanding customers in a wide variety of verticals due to data bottlenecks caused partly by the pandemic-driven, work-from-home phenomenon. 

As the world increasingly demands light-speed data delivery, photonics is growing in popularity. A combination of electronics and optics, photonics promises to keep up with society's digital habits. Photonics solutions can transfer light at historic speed thanks to more reliable lasers, enabling device manufacturers to develop next-generation products and unlock new applications.

Faster downloads, higher-quality streaming, more precise data collection, and rapid advancement in technology are made possible by photonics. Many of these applications are the culmination of years of work by engineers who have adapted highly complex science for practical applications.

The following photonics topics are expected to gain more attention in the coming years:

Artificial intelligence(AI): In addition to improving cybersecurity, image-recognition software, and online shopping experiences, AI plays a key role in machine-learning tools. As TVs and home appliances have become essential parts of our lives, these smart tools - watches, glasses, health monitors, and more are also becoming essential. By using them, we are able to reach our daily step goal, limit our screen time, and stay within our desired calorie intake.

There are solutions on the horizon to make these devices even smarter. For robotic surgery applications, one must look for chip-scale integration of spectrometers - instruments that measure and examine the movement of light.

Lidar: Engineers use lidar to create three-dimensional images to enable autonomous driving. Lidar stands for "light detection and ranging." Lidar devices typically include a high-intensity laser tool, a micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS), and a GPS receiver. Using these images, enterprises can implement disruptive changes in the real world.

 Lidar's mapping solutions are already helping cars understand what's around them. Using the images that computerized vehicles collect today, manufacturers can create cars that can parallel park or negotiate steep hills without driver assistance.

 In 2027, the lidar market is expected to reach $7 billion, powered by the demand for self-driving cars and 3D maps. In addition to autonomous cars, lidar technology is also used in health care, defense, aerospace, and urban planning. As photonics progresses, manufacturing demand will continue to drive adoption in the coming years.