Nothing beats talking to a colleague or hearing from a renowned speaker for learning about developments or solving a problem--and the same goes for actually handling a product and asking questions of a product manager. Several upcoming tradeshows will enable the full range of photonics technologies and products to be discussed, analyzed, and handled.
OFC/NFOEC in Anaheim, CA (March 17-21), with 550 exhibitors) focuses on topics such as cloud and datacenter networking, software-defined networking (SDN), optical and wireless convergence, and 100G/400G developments. For Laser Focus World, my personal focus will be on silicon photonics (including the rump session on Tuesday evening that asks the question, Silicon photonics: disruptive technology or research curiosity?). There's also the OSA's Executive Forum on Monday, including a distinquished panel looking at the future of the optical components industry and asking whether it is driven by technology challenges or in need of a business model tune-up?
LASER World of Photonics China in Shanghai (March 19-21) again promises to deliver very useful insights into this critical but little-understood market. I attended last year, and this year senior editor Gail Overton will present an overview of the global laser markets at the co-located Eighth International Congress on laser processes and components.
SPIE Defense, Security + Sensing in Baltimore (April 29-May 3) will be the venue to see the best in related products and technologies--and to learn what impacts the ongoing US budget struggles may have on the defense markets. The keynote speech by DARPA director Arati Prabhakar should be very worthwhile attending.
The largest and most widely anticipated show will take place in Munich (May 13-16), where LASER World of Photonics will be celebrating its 40th anniversary and expecting 1100 exhibitors and 28,000 visitors. More on that shortly.
And finally, just before the Summer solstice, CLEO takes place in San Jose (June 9-14). There, the OSA and Laser Focus World will present their annual Innovation Awards for outstanding new products and services. Please submit your nominations as soon as possible!