January 12, 2006 Washington, D.C. -- The Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA) has published a report titled "The Challenge for InP Photonic Development and the Optical Foundry." The report is based on industry presentations, videos, discussions, and conclusions from an OIDA workshop held November 3, 2005 in Washington, D.C.
The report was prepared by Dr. W.S. Ring of WSR Optical Device Solutions LLC and will be available to all OIDA members in early February. According to a press release, the report identifies the challenges faced by the InP device market and provides suggestions on how the various players in the industry - large optoelectronics companies, foundry companies, start-ups, 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," notes 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."
Lebby continues, "However, a number of current players have the mindset that non-standardization of the device platforms is a commercial advantage and provides a differentiating factor. Large companies such as Bookham and Mitsubishi believe that vertical integration offers their customers differentiated products, while start-ups such as Eblana and Syntune are pursuing fabless paths to avoid fabrication factory overheads."
Lebby notes that the level of R&D across the industry seems unfortunately to be lower than needed to support the communications roadmaps developed by OIDA in 2005; these roadmaps forecast the elements needed for the market to thrive over the next decade.
However, Lebby emphasizes that the potential for the market is significant. "This market continues to grow despite the obstacles faced by the players," he says.
At the workshop, Lebby encouraged foundries, software tool developers, and fabless companies to work with OIDA to make that organization an industry catalyst. Workshop attendees included Cisco, Intel, and DARPA, which sponsored the event.