to provide a new, readily accessible and usable, integrated electronics and optics platform.
They should also support and sustain U.S. technology transition toward low-cost, high-volume circuits and systems that utilize the best of optics and electronics in order to enable integrated systems to seamlessly provide solutions in communications, information processing, biomedical, sensing, defense, and security applications. Government funding agencies, the DOD, and possibly a consortium of companies requiring these technologies should work together to implement this recommendation. This technology is one approach to assist in accomplishing the first key recommendation of this chapter concerning the factor-of-100 increase in Internet capability.
The second key recommendation in this chapter leads to the second grand challenge question:
2. How can the U.S. optics and photonics community develop a seamless integration of photonics and electronics components as a mainstream platform for low-cost fabrication and packaging of systems on a chip for communications, sensing, medical, energy, and defense applications?
In concert with meeting the first grand challenge, achieving the second grand challenge would make it possible to stay on a Moore’s law-like path of exponential performance growth. The seamless integration of optics and photonics at the chip level has the potential to significantly increase speed and capacity for many applications that currently use only electronics, or that integrate electronics and photonics at a larger component level. Chip-level integration will reduce weight and increase speed while reducing cost, thus opening up a large set of future possibilities as devices become further miniaturized.
The size and number of data centers in the United States and globally is expected to grow dramatically over the next decade to address the needs of a global digital society, especially if cloud services become more pervasive. It is clear that these data centers will be the focal point for the development and deployment of new optics and photonics communications technologies, and as such will be very important for the economy.
Key Recommendation: The U.S. government and private industry should position the United States as a leader in the optical technology for the global data center business.