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The future of photonics is being developed now

The European Conference on Optical Communication (ECOC) will take place between 13 and 15 September 2021 in Bordeaux, France. The ECOC exhibition gives the opportunity to show the latest products, services, and designs in the fibre optic communication technology industry. The exhibition focusses on different markets including photonics, the physical science of generating, controlling, and detecting light waves.

At the Dutch Eindhoven University of Technology, the possibilities of photonics are being researched. A potential use of photonics that is currently being studied is using photonics instead of electronics. The main advantage of switching from electrons to photons is speed. Next to improving the speed of technology, the use of photonics is proven to be more energy-efficient than existing technologies. Photonic chips use less energy than electronic chips. Commonly known electronic technologies, such as traditional Wi-Fi, can be replaced by advanced photonic technologies, in this example optical fibre.

The field of photonics is still developing. PhotonDelta, a public-private partnership located in Europe, connects companies and knowledge institutes. Several of the affiliated companies have been developing and producing chips that use photons instead of electronics. These chips are developed for different purposes in the sectors of data communication, healthcare, sustainability, mobility, security, and agriculture. On the watchlist of future technologies, the development of photonics will certainly play a big role in relation to the development of data centres, self-driving cars, and 5G-networks.

The Advanced Industry for Technology (ATI) project has recently published the Product Watch on Photonics technology for high-intensity farming. This report zooms in on the use of photonics technologies specifically in the agricultural sector. The report provides an overview of the context, value chain and relevant stakeholders and contains an outline of the key players as well as their strengths and weaknesses. For more information on advanced technologies or innovations centres in Europe, explore the ATI project website.