A recent report from the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA-Washington, DC) identifies the challenges faced by the indium phosphide (InP) photonics device market and provides suggestions on how the various industry players, including large optoelectronics companies, foundries, startups, and government and regulatory agencies, can work together to make the market more profitable.
“Chief among such challenges is that there is an overcapacity in the world for current market demands,” explains Michael Lebby, OIDA’s executive director. “In fact, according to OIDA research, because there is no commonality, there are limited economies in manufacturing, and this has led to high cost structures in producing devices.”
The report reveals that large companies such as Bookham and Mitsubishi believe that vertical integration offers their customers differentiated products, while startups such as Eblana and Syntune are pursuing fabless paths to avoid fabrication factory overheads.
Lebby continues, “A number of current players have the mindset that nonstandardization of device platforms is a commercial advantage and provides a differentiating factor.”
The report notes that levels of R&D across the industry unfortunately appear to be lower than what’s required to support communications roadmaps developed by OIDA in 2005. The roadmaps forecast elements required for the market to thrive over the next decade.
“This market continues to grow despite the obstacles faced by the players,” holds Lebby.
The report, “The Challenge for InP Photonic Development and the Optical Foundry,” is based on industry presentations, videos, discussions, and conclusions from an OIDA workshop held November 3, 2005 in Washington, DC. For more information, visit www.oida.org.