“It’s not cheap, but neither is it outrageously expensive to develop new chip designs. It gives smaller European companies like Effect Photonics a chance to grow. And chip manufacturing companies like Smart Photonics are definitely ones to watch. They recently announced an impressive vision for scaling-up on the High Tech Campus between now and 2018.”
“We know that to really scale up this industry, you need tens of billions of dollars. But everything is in place in Europe to maintain a leadership role. The open question is whether Europe can get the IBM's, Cisco’s and Intel’s of this world to put in the money. Personally, I think it is a challenge worth accepting. Europe has taught itself to collaborate efficiently, it has direction, a clear set of goals and lots of small, flexible innovative companies.”
“By creating an end-to-end ecosystem with designers, fabs and packing companies working together within the same region you create a ‘one-stop shop’ for those building novel applications. It’s an ecosystem which is difficult to copy, leading to a brain-gain rather than a brain-drain.”
For people like Michael Lebby, the mid-term future is becoming clearer.
“You will see electronics closely integrated with photonics. There are various approaches to realize this. But I'm sure we'll soon figure out the best technologies. Because, integration is going to be essential to get the costs down and keep customers happy!”
Photonics applications will feature prominently in the Health Tech Event to be held on Campus on November 24th.