News Article

Ensuring Repeatable, Reliable Processing Of InP Photonics

News

Advances in the processing of InP lasers and detectors will aid the growth of a third wave of connected devices, following in the footsteps of the computer and smartphone revolutions

BY GRANT BALDWIN AND MARK DINEEN FROM OXFORD INSTRUMENTS PLASMA TECHNOLOGY

Just before the dawn of the 21st century, when many feared a digital Armageddon from the Millennium Bug, a new expression entered our vocabulary: the smartphone. Back then, owners of mobile phones were benefitting from incremental advances in capability that started in the 1980s, giving them a device that no longer performed a narrow function, but provided voice and text communication - and possibly some very basic gaming. However, at that time few, if any, would have anticipated the revolutionary advances in the smartphone over the next two decades, propelling it to the generation-defining connected device that changed forever how we exist and interact.

The latest generations of smartphones make it easier for us to perform known functions, while offering limitless and inconceivable functionality. Now we can pay, play, consume, create, share, locate, navigate, communicate and monitor our internal and external environment - at one stage all these functions were unimagined and unimaginable.

For good reason, some believe that the dawn is breaking for another consumer device to deliver a similar explosion in capability and bring an equally epochal change. Up until now automobiles have only really got better and more efficient at performing a narrow, but important function of transporting us from A to B. We are now on the cusp of a profound change, with the automobiles of the not-too-distant future providing a data centre and infotainment hub on wheels that takes you to places. With the inexorable progression toward vehicles that drive themselves and entertain us along the way, due to this additional functionality, the hourly data generated by the automobile is projected to grow exponentially.