News | February 15, 2005

Photonics West 2005 Review


By Patti Smith, President and
Marlene Moore, Vice President
Smith Miller Moore, Inc.

Smith Miller Moore, founded in 1978, specializes in advertising, marketing and public relations for advanced technology companies. The company provides comprehensive services dedicated to the high-tech market, including in-depth strategic planning, ad & collateral design, media planning, PR, technical articles, web site design/optimization and booth design. Their latest offering, introduced at Photonics West, is the SMM PowerSpot™, a dynamic, live action and/or animated 60-second "commercial" that functions like a movie trailer to visually encapsulate a company's personality, products and capabilities for boardroom, sales, website and trade show presentations.

With all of their clients concentrated in the optoelectronics industry, co-founders Patti Smith and Marlene Moore are regulars at Photonics West "With twelve of our clients exhibiting this year, there was no time for rest," notes Patti. "We walked our feet off, then made up for it by eating our way through business breakfasts, lunches and dinners". Our press conference for Sensors Unlimited's tiny visible-shortwave infrared camera was a highlight of our trade show effort this year."

Here are a few other highlights of the show:


Great news again this year!
From the floors of Photonics West 2005, we watched as throngs of interested attendees rushed the halls of the San Jose Convention Center in even greater numbers than last year. (A less formal measurement of the show's success – we were begging for an additional day or two just to get through the exhibit halls.) Attendance reached 15,188, up 700 over last year's count, and exhibitors topped the charts at 786, with an additional 90 at Bios the preceding weekend. With exhibit space selling out quickly, the recommendation is to get yours reserved for 2006 now, if you haven't already. To house the growing population, expect to see a new Exhibition Pavilion to be constructed by the City of San Jose, capable of holding over 300 exhibits, with all the comforts of the main halls.

New applications, emerging technologies, and the need for high quality, high volume OE products were responsible for the increased traffic. Many interesting papers were given, to standing-room only crowds.

Here are a few exhibition highlights:

Sensors Unlimited, Inc. (SUI) – Princeton, NJ
Sensors Unlimited premiered their tiny, dual-wavelength visible-shortwave-infrared Micro Camera at a press conference on the second morning of the show. The well-attended conference was an opportunity for the media to get acquainted with the company that has pioneered shortwave infrared imaging using indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) technology. Their latest offering, the world's smallest Visible-InGaAs MicroCamera, is a breakthrough product in visible and near-infrared imaging, weighing less than 2.5 ounces, the approximate size of a 9-volt battery. Because of its small stature, it is ideal for covert surveillance and defense and military operations. The new MicroCamera can also assist in hyperspectral imaging and laser beam profiling. Mr. John Sudol, Vice President of Operations at SUI noted, "Our small camera had a big impact at the show and we received an impressive number of good, quality leads for this MicroCamera and for our other InGaAs imaging products." Sensors Unlimited's newly designed booth was busy every time we passed by. The company had a very well-staffed and well-attended booth and remarked to us that it was one of their best trade shows ever!

Click here for more information on Sensors Unlimited, Inc.

Opto Diode Corporation – Newbury Park, CA
First time exhibitor at Photonics West, Opto Diode Corporation, announced their recently completed in-house wafer fabrication facility a week prior to the show. A veteran supplier of visible, high power LEDs and IRLEDs, Opto Diode is now shipping their first line of high performance photodiodes, direct from their domestic plant in Southern California. Russ Dahl, Director of Sales & Marketing commented, "The show has been very successful for us. We've had a lot of traffic at our Parkside booth and a lot of interest shown in our new 99 Die LED array products that are ideal for exterior aircraft and automotive lighting. It's been great for us because we've also had the opportunity to show off our new wafer fab capabilities." Opto Diode is now offering low-cost silicon and specialty photodetectors as well as their full line of standard and custom infrared and visible LEDs.

TeraXion – Quebec, Canada
According to Arkell Farr, Business Development Manager, Photonics West 2005 was a very good show for TeraXion, a company that has pioneered advanced fiber Bragg grating (FBG) technology. "Customers value our high level of technical expertise and ability to rapidly design and manufacture highly customized FBGs. We are looking beyond the telecom market and are finding a lot of interest from the fiber laser industry here at the show. Our products are finding applications in industrial fiber lasers, biomedical lasers and of course there is a growing opportunity in the military market."

Photron USA, Inc. – San Diego, CA
Photron USA, Inc., manufacturer of advanced high-speed cameras and systems, displayed their recently introduced FASTCAM-X 1024 PCI™, the world's first PC-based high speed video imaging system that features full mega pixel resolution up to 1000 frames per second (fps). Photron reported that Photonics West 2005 was a good show for them again this year. While Tuesday seemed to be their busiest day, Photron received many well-qualified leads throughout the week. They made a good showing, with captivating slow-motion video playing on several monitors, generating inquiries about slow motion imaging systems for industrial, commercial, automotive, military and medical applications. Photron's cameras are used for analysis of high-speed events, with frame rates up to 250,000 per second. Sales are up as a result of broader demand for technology which allows the recording and analysis of extremely fast events as they occur. According to Andrew Bridges, Sales and Marketing Manager, "Photonics West covers a broad base of OE applications and you can expect to see us here again in 2006."

Click here for more information on Photron USA, Inc.

Janos Technology, Inc. - Townshend, VT
The Janos booth, presenting advanced optical solutions and featuring precision infrared optics in Exhibit Hall 3, reported good traffic flow throughout the three-day show. Mark Lenhart, Director of Marketing, noted, "We've had very high interest in our thermal imaging product line. The leads we've generated during the show are high quality and many of them are high volume OEM requests, as well." When asked about their market growth potential for 2005, Brett Rosner, President of Janos Technology, said, "We project a second consecutive year of at least a 20 percent revenue growth. Our high precision infrared optics have many applications for the defense and military and our custom optics and engineering have a wide variety of uses for the commercial, R&D and astronomy markets. We are well positioned this year to offer our customized optical components and systems into other growth areas."

Click here for more information on Janos Technology, Inc.

NuSil Technology, Inc. - Carpenteria, CA
NuSil Technology formulates and develops silicone compounds for the healthcare, aerospace and electronics, fiber optics and the photonics industries. Although their booth at Photonics West was not as busy as last year, the company has doubled their LED sales in 2004 and expects the trend to continue According to Product Director, Bill Riegler, "Our Lightspan™ LEDs are generating a lot of interest here at the show and our Lightspan sales have a clear upward growth due to their use in a variety of mass market products, including monitors, cell phones, backlit screens, automobiles, etc." He adds, "As the demand for LEDs grows, our company is offering higher refractive index materials to meet the need for packaging with greater heat tolerances. Silicones maintain maximum optical clarity and the proper refractive index in high temperature applications, making silicone the material of choice for packaging LEDs."

General Photonics, Inc. – Chino, California
General Photonics busily discussed their fiber optic sub-systems and component products used to facilitate the growth of next generation optical networks via dynamic signal control technology, including dynamic polarization control, dynamic spectrum control, and dynamic timing and power control. This year at Photonics West, interested attendees investigated General Photonics' instruments, modules, polarization tools, time delay management tools, polarization components, and passive components. Sales were up in 2004, a trend expected to continue due to increased activity in the optical network sector. Ken Hargrove, Vice President of Sales & Marketing, was pleased with the show activity and plans to exhibit again in 2006, along with hundreds of other OE exhibitors.


Photonics West 2005 certainly lived up to its reputation as one of the most important and successful trade shows in the optoelectronics industry. If you haven't made your booth reservations yet for 2006, do it today! It's worth the trip. See you next year!

Smith Miller Moore, Inc. has specialized in advertising, marketing and public relations for the photonics industry and advanced technologies since 1978. For more information, please call us at 818-708-1704 or email:

© Smith Miller Moore, Inc. 2005

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