Strategically Blogging

A Solution for Compatibility and Interoperability Issues with Networked Lighting

Shonika Vijay 11/17/2015

Today was the first meeting on Connected Lighting Systems (CLS) sponsored by DOE (Department of Energy). Strategies Unlimited was in attendance to witness what lighting and network players thought were the major hurdles for the penetration of connected lighting. 

The Market for Connected Reflector and A-lamps

Philip Smallwood 11/16/2015

As I stated in a previous post, Strategies Unlimited has released three connected lighting reports, “Connected Lamps”, “Outdoor Connected Lighting”, and “Indoor Connected Lighting”, which I believe is the future of lighting.

OSRAM's Potential Suitors

Philip Smallwood 11/11/2015

I currently had a discussion with a partner of ours in Taiwan, Martin Shih, on the potential sale of OSRAM’s general lighting business.  He had some very useful insights as to which foreign company might be able to purchase the division. 

Which Protocol is going to win in the Connected Lamps Market?

Philip Smallwood 11/09/2015

In the connected lamp world, there are a lot of questions with regards to which protocol will be the one most likely to succeed in the market. This is an industry that is still in its infancy, with several new players adding connected lighting to the world of connected products. 

LED Modules and Light Engines - Custom vs. Standardized Products

Stephanie Pruitt 11/05/2015

Although the majority of module and light engine manufacturers offer standardized products, the majority of the module and light engine market is manufactured on a custom basis. Many of the manufacturers interviewed for the LED Modules & Light Engines – 2015 report indicated that greater than 70% of their module and light engine products were done on a custom basis, with some claiming 100%. 

The Un-Trends in Photonics Markets

By Tom Hausken
In the last post I ruminated on the best market trends of the decade in photonics. This time we examine that trends that weren't: the Un-Trends.

The decline of optical storage. Remember laser disks that were as big as vinyl records? Remember when CDs were displacing magnetic tapes? Remember CDs? The business of optical storage has been hit by a triple whammy: falling sales as downloads increase and falling prices due to commoditization. The iPad is the next big thing and--surprise!--there's no DVD player there. Not now, not ever. The future for optical storage is now in mass storage. And there's a chance that lasers will be needed to take magnetic storage a little further. Stay tuned.

The long winter of telecom components. The telecom components business never really recovered from the boom of the late 90s. Or shall we say it's back to the business it always was. Components. There are some successes, and stock prices are back to "normal," but overall it's nothing to brag about. Companies struggled through the decade to fill their fabs, move production to China, and just stay open. It's better now, but somehow it feels like there wasn't closure.

The elusive photonic integrated circuit. Twenty years ago it was called the OEIC, the optoelectronic integrated circuit. That was Bell Labs. In the 90s, Japanese companies pushed PLCs, photonic lightwave circuits. Now there are photonic integrated circuits (PICs) and the likes of Infinera and Luxtera. And of course there's the mother-of-all-quests: Intel's search for the silicon laser. (A 2006 article asks: lasers integrated into CMOS by 2010?) It's all nice work, and we're happy for Infinera--it's done a remarkable job. But the classical idea of the uber-circuit that will integrate smoothly with silicon--it's soooo 20th century. Get over it. What works is very piecemeal: some hybrid pick-and-place here, monolithic integration of a modulator there, and even then the economics can be questionable. The problem is that these approaches work best when you have high volumes, but high volume products are already commoditized in Asian factories. The real successes are much less dramatic. Think optical mouse, not 100G.

Optical computing is dead, long live optics in computing! I mean here the type of optical computing where the processor is all-optical. I worked on a project about this in the 1990s, with Japan, and there's still a little funding in it. The closest thing to it nowadays may be the all-optical telecom switch. (The name "switch" doesn't do it justice. They are pretty complex.) The optical processor is a nice idea ("it travels at the speed of light!") but it turns out that electronics is really really good, and really really cheap. Oh, and it's way easy to program. Now if you are talking about "optics in computing", that's another thing. There are optics everywhere inside a computer: the display, the mouse, the camera, the DVD player, maybe even a fiber cable someday (one can hope).

The death of CRTs, photographic film, and fax machines. The triumph of flat displays means the death of CRTs. What a great technology. Tubes are still preferred in various niches in electronics (take apart your microwave oven if you don't believe me). But I'm glad to see them go. Ever tried to carry a big CRT? (You can still buy one. Check Amazon .) Photographic film is still around too, although the last Kodachrome processor closed after Kodak stopped supporting the chemicals needed to develop it (see photos from the last roll here ). It's hard to miss film, especially in the dentist's office or the hospital x-ray lab. And fax machines will still be around for faxing legal and medical documents, and for receiving wacky advertisements (does that ever sell anything?).

There's more, but isn't 5 enough?


Strategies Unlimited

offers comprehensive coverage of high-brightness LEDs and LED lighting, lasers and other photonic products and systems, biomedical imaging systems and image sensors, compound semiconductor materials and specialty electronics market sectors.


The experienced analyst team at Strategies Unlimited offers comprehensive coverage of high-brightness LEDs and LED lighting, lasers and other photonic products and systems, biomedical imaging systems and image sensors, compound semiconductor materials and specialty electronics market sectors.