PhotonDelta and AIM Academy are hosting the first meeting of the World Technology Mapping Forum this week. The goal is to produce the first International Photonic Systems Roadmap, looking ahead to global technology needs in 2030 and beyond. In a short series, we offer three views on why Photonics Roadmapping Forum is so important. Today: Michael Lebby.

Dr. Michael Lebby, CEO of Lightwave Logic (LWLG) headquartered in Colorado, is heavily involved in preparing the ground for an informed conversation. “I expect the gathering in The Netherlands to explore the opportunities that we can’t see today which will be commonplace in a decade. This long-term road mapping discussion is essential for government, research and industry to work out where they want to invest precious finances in new technologies over the next 10-15 years.”

“This forum is very different from product roadmap discussions. The timeline is much longer. Data center companies have been saying for the last few years that they want to achieve a cost structure of US$1 per Gigabit at 400 GB/sec for a 2-km long fiber optic link. So, if you have a fiber optic link connecting two switches in a data center, then these companies are saying they only really want to pay US$400 to install a transmitter/receiver at either end.”

“If you put that data into a roadmap scenario and bring the experts together, then you start asking the question how can we get the technology to work and what needs to happen to bring the price down to US$1 per Gigabit and keep the customer happy. It may be that you hit a brick wall and achieving that goal is not achievable, but in doing so you will uncover a lot of interesting challenges.”

PhotonDelta and AIM Academy have reached out to bring a broad range of senior photonics experts together in a trusted, non-competitive environment and let them interact with (potential) customers of their technologies. Good roadmaps really filter out the most crucial technologies and define some broad metrics which they need to achieve to be successful to be used in high-volume products.

“A decade from now we’re going to have sensors everywhere. They’ll measure a lot of things not possible today; air-quality, lifestyle, autonomous vehicles. And expect billions of sensors, each of which needs to be connected yet remain secure. How do we bring the costs down so they become ubiquitous? This is something that we need to get to grips with during the 2017 road-mapping discussion.”

Jonathan Marks is Editor-at-Large at PhotonDelta

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About the author

Author profile picture Jonathan Marks is Director of Outreach at PhotonDelta. Originally from the UK, he has worked for several international broadcasters including Discovery Channel, BBC, European Broadcasting Union and the former Radio Nederland Wereldomroep. Today he is an active independent writer and video producer doing journalistic due diligence on next-generation photonics and the application sectors that it will empower. He leads an active guild of digital craftsmen and women helping international entrepreneurs scale their business across borders. "Because investors are no longer interested in pitches. They're searching for teams with a clear, open narrative. I'm happy to explain the difference."