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Optoelectronic Technology Trends


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									 Optoelectronic Technology Trends

1.    Introduction                                                               frequency waves) of millimeter wave wireless. The wavelength range
   The OITDA establishes an Optoelectronic Technology Trend                      has been determined due to dispersions or losses of fiber in the near-
Research Committee every fiscal year as part of the optoelectronic                infrared range for optical communication, and component development
technology trends survey project, in order to investigate and analyze            in each wavelength band is in progress depending on factors such as
new movements in optoelectronics-related technology domestically                 transmission distance, speed, purpose, etc. The progress situations of
and abroad. This fiscal year, working groups were organized to address            the trunk line system, the metro system, and the access system slightly
and investigate the eight fields described below (the study on medical            vary every fiscal year. Where the focal point of the previous fiscal
technology in the optical industry will be conducted for a limited               year s investigation was multi-level photonic devices that contribute
period). The results will be presented at the optoelectronic technology          to update of communication records for the trunk line system, this
trends seminar at the InterOpto 2010 exhibition scheduled to be held             fiscal year s investigations focused on modules associated with
on October 1, 2010. Also, 17 articles on the latest technology trends            standardization and speed-up of Ethernet systems. A continuously
in topics on each field were presented in Technology Trends on the                investigated topic is the speed-up of optical sources and Si photonics;
OITDA web news site, OptoNews.                                                   photoreceptors and modulators were investigated last fiscal year,
   With regard to the overseas field survey of trends in optoelectronic           whereas this fiscal year, light-emitting devices and integration devices
technology, investigators were dispatched to WC2009 (Munich) in                  were investigated. In the visible and ultraviolet range, there has been
September and to WT2010 (Spain) in January to investigate medical                progress in achieving high-output in the deep ultraviolet range, and
related trends, and trends in optical materials and devices.                     lengthening of long waves in nitride-based semiconductor devices.
   In addition, the project was subsidized by JKA through its Promotion          This fiscal year s breakthrough is achievement of green color in a
funds from KEIRIN RACE.                                                          nitride-based semiconductor laser. Blue-violet ~ blue semiconductor
                                                                                 lasers, ultraviolet LEDs, and GaN-based surface-emitting lasers are
2.    Optical Devices and Materials (Working Group 1)                            continuously investigated topics; white LED lighting and organic EL
   As it does every fiscal year, the Optical Devices and Materials                lighting were investigated as topic items from the recently important
Working Group investigated modules and applications, mainly devices,             aspects of energy and environmental conservation.
in the wavelength range of several 100 m to near 200nm. Table 1                     In addition to last year s efforts on achievement of higher performance
shows the technology investigation items, classified by wavelength                in basic technologies and devices for new applications, a lot of device
axis.                                                                            development and module development work for standardization and
   The terahertz band is the extended wavelength range between radio             energy conservation was seen this fiscal year. Each investigation item
and optical waves, and development is progressing for higher frequency           for terahertz band, near-infrared (for optical communications), and
radio waves and longer optical waves (lower frequency waves). Until              visible and ultraviolet range is summarized below.
last year, the investigations were done in the order of: light-emitting
devices      light-receiving devices    equipment, and this year light-          2.1 Terahertz Band
emitting devices were investigated after an interval of 3 years. Since              Since terahertz band is located between light and radio waves and
the applications contain properties of both radio and optical waves,             has physical properties of both waves, many possibilities were
many possibilities are being investigated, and this fiscal year, terahertz        investigated. This fiscal year, high-speed wireless applications were
wireless was examined in terms of increasing the speed (higher                   investigated for extension of the millimeter wave. In the existing

                                                    Table 1 the technology investigation items

                                                                            17                                                   Annual Technical Report
                                                                                                                                           2009 OITDA
millimeter wave (60~80GHz), the maximum transmission speed is                   systems and structures are being explored for Si-based light emitters.
several Gb/s, whereas in terahertz waves, a transmission speed of               In an attempt to emit light in shorter wavelengths than the Si bandgap
10~100Gb/s is theoretically possible. However, due to increased                 wavelength, EL luminescence using nanostructures or Si light emitting
atmospheric attenuation, the transmission distance is dramatically              diodes with ultrathin membrane that uses quantum effects are being
shortened. As terahertz wireless generators, several methods are being          reported. There are also reports of growth of Si/GaPN/Si types being
investigated from radio aspects and optics aspects, and actual cases of         achieved by using thin nitrogen series in an attempt to integrate Si and
transmissions have been reported in 1000Hz~several THz at                       III-V group light emitters using epitaxial, and light emitting diodes
approximately 1~10Gb/s for several km~10km. With the use of                     using GaPN/GaAsN-SQW on Si. On the other hand, investigations are
electronic devices in radio wave generators, there has been progress            being done to make the band structure similar to that of a direct
in the achievement of higher frequency and higher output of oscillatory         transition model, by applying stretching strain to Ge from the
frequency, with reports of fundamental wave oscillation being up to 1           wavelength length side. Improvements in luminescence efficiency
THz in resonant tunneling diodes, and current gain cutoff frequency             brought about with the use of SiGe/FeSi2/SiGe are being investigated.
and maximum oscillatory frequency being approximately 1 THz in                  As for integration, investigations are being done on monolithic
HBT and HEMT. Investigations have also recently begun on Si-CMOS,               integration mainly of materials such as photoreceptors, modulators,
possibly due to the large existing market for millimeter wave. On the           wavelength filters etc., that can coexist with the Si-CMOS process.
other hand, THz wave oscillation using quantum cascade laser is being
investigated in optic wave generators. In the existing quantum cascade          2.3 Visible and ultraviolet ranges
lasers, room temperature oscillation is possible at 3.1~10.6 m, however,           In visible and ultraviolet ranges, progress is being made in
room temperature oscillation in terahertz band has not yet been                 achievement of output-power improvement of light emitting diodes,
achieved. In optic waves, longer wavelengths (lower frequencies) are            and expansion of wavelength range of nitride-based semiconductor
more difficult, and up to now the maximum oscillation temperature is             diodes. The previous wavelength of nitride-based semiconductor diode
186K at 3THz. Investigations in active layer structure and factor               was less than 500nm blue-green color fixing, however, this fiscal year
analysis for room temperature oscillation are in progress.                      a new semipolar substrate (20-21) surface was used to achieve 531nm
                                                                                at room temperature pulse, and 520nm at room temperature continuous
2.2   Near-infrared range (Wavelength range for optical communication           operation. Also, room temperature continuous oscillation of 515 nm
      systems)                                                                  was achieved using the existing (0001) C surface, and semiconductor
   There have been advances in wavelength range of optical                      diodes achieved green, a range previously not entered. In pure blue
communications systems in terms of increase in communication                    color, horizontal single mode nitride-based semiconductor lasers (pulse
capacity, spread and higher speeds of Ethernet systems in networks,             120mW, continuous 60mW) were also developed, in addition to the
and smaller size and energy conservation in optic transceivers used             existing horizontal multimode. A shift from the short wavelength of
for interface. In the Ethernet systems, 10 Gb Ethernet (10 GbE) was             660nm for DVDs to 638nm with improved visual sensitivity had already
introduced in the year 2002, and this fiscal year the final specifications         been achieved in red waves, and this fiscal year the 3 primary colors
for 40/100 GbE have been decided and are awaiting approval. The                 of light (blue, green and red) were achieved by semiconductor laser.
main difference between the systems in terms of transmission is that            On the other hand, long term reliability can now be gained in the
up to 10GbE was mainly serial transmission, whereas in 40/100 GbE               existing blue-violet nitride-based semiconductor lasers, even during
the transmission would be parallel (4, 10 lanes). Therefore, in the             high power output of 500mW, because the speed of optical disk for
optical source, speedup of 25 Gbit/s in 1.3 m band for 100 GbE (4               recording has been increased. Towards new applications, investigations
lanes) is being aimed for along with lower cost. There is progress in           on surface luminescence laser are in progress, where photonic crystal
power conservation, along with investigations on speed-up of direct             type and inclined mirror type were realized last fiscal year, and vertical
modulation laser (10       25 Git/s) for the 10km version, and changes          resonator surface-emitting laser that uses the top and bottom DBR
in wavelength band of external modulation integration laser of trunk            mirror was achieved this fiscal year. There has been a growing interest
line system (1.55       1.3 m band) in the 40km version. In optical             in illumination in terms of energy and environmental conservation. In
transceivers, power conservation and miniaturization of common                  white LED lighting that uses a combination of nitride-based light
industrial specifications is being aimed for, in addition to efforts to          emitting diode (LED) and luminescent materials, properties (general
increase in number of ports for transmission devices. For this, it was          color rendering index: 92, luminescence efficiency: 62lm/W, total
planned to achieve miniaturization and power conservation, moving               luminous flux: 500lm) that are superior to light bulb type fluorescent
from 300 pin       X2    XFP SEP + by removing from the module                  lamps have been developed. On the other hand an LED is a point light
the CDR which contains serial/parallel conversion IC and 3R functions.          source, whereas an organic EL is a two dimensional light source. During
Furthermore, low-power integrated two-way IC in the latest SFP+ for             initial development, efficiency was low and there were issues with
10km, and power conservation using un-cooled operations and high                reliability, but with the development of phosphorescence luminescence
temperature operations of EA/DFB optical sources in SFP+ for 40 km              materials and peripheral technologies, properties similar to those of
are being developed. Modulator integration and miniaturization in terms         fluorescent lamps have been obtained. Though presently there are some
of mounting to modules is under progress for variable wavelength                differences in LED lighting and organic EL, their practical
optical sources, and advances are being made in mounting to 38 pin              implementation is expected to progress in the future in terms cost (cost
butterfly, TOSA and XFP using MZ model of modulator that is                      of apparatus: ¥/brightness: 1m), purpose, design etc., along with
advantageous in a wide wavelength range. Moreover, monolithic                   improved elemental characteristics.
integration of InP type ring resonator with external resonator that uses
silicon waveguide is being investigated, in a recent attempt to                 3.      Optical Communication Networks (Working Group 2)
miniaturize the variable wavelength optical source itself. Many material             The number of domestic FTTH (Fiber to the home) contracts reached

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          2009 OITDA
                                                                                                   Optoelectronic Technology Trends

16 million lines in June 2009, accounting for more than 50% of the              remarkable progress in R&D related to speed-up of transmission speed
domestic broadband contracts (31 million). In access networks, there            to 100 Gb/s per wavelength. Coherent reception based on digital signal
has been a major shift to optical fiber communications, from copper              processing has brought the long distance transmission system, having
line communications such as DSL (Digital Subscriber Line:                       up to100 Gb/s x 100 waves, closer to reality. Also, mounted components
approximately 11 new million subscribers) and CATV (Cable Television:           are being standardized in accordance with the industry group OIF
approximately 4 million subscribers). This means that Japan has shifted         (Optical Internetworking Forum). Investigations on further speed-up
to a period when optical communication networks now serve as the                and increased capacity of wireless communication systems and similar
foundation of Japan s telecommunications infrastructure, both in name           complex multi-valued modulation methods are also being initiated.
and in reality. The domestic internet traffic volume increased by 40%               In photonic nodes, ROADM (Reconfigurable OADM) and optical
times in the past year, and domestic download traffic volume is                  branching insertion nodes in ring parts are being introduced. Multi-
estimated to have surpassed 1 terabit per second (1 Tb/s) in 2009.              degree ROADM technology that enables optical interconnection
   The development of this information-communication society has                between multiple rings is being developed. This technology is expected
been supported by technology innovations in the optical communications          to control electricity consumption by reducing the installation surface
network. Dr. Kao, a recipient of the 2009 Nobel Prize in Physics,               area and the number of network devices. The development of element
predicted the prospects of optical fiber communications. Based on his            technology as a future technology for optical burst/optical packet
predictions, low loss optical fiber was developed in 1970. Since then,           switches is also advancing.
cutting-edge research & development and implementation work in this                With regard to optical networking, technology is being developed
field have been going on in Japan. Starting with conversions to fiber             that integrates and controls optical path conversion having long
optics in long distance mainline and trunk lines in the 1980s, and              distance/high capacity, with packet networking that efficiently
introduction of metro 10 Gb/s optical ring nets in the 1990s, in the            multiplexes packet traffic coming from users. This fiscal year,
2000s the system has evolved to fiber optic broadband network                    investigations on control models such as power conservation network
configurations such as core/metro/access. The following systems have             design theory, methods of fault recovery between layers, impairment
been introduced in each of the networks; dense wavelength division              routing that secures reachability of optical signals (method of
multiplexing (DWDM) system that links two ultra-long distance points            establishing paths after considering transmission properties of individual
using repeated optical amplification relays, DWDM ring network                   optical paths), etc have gained momentum.
system constructed with OADM nodes (Optical Add/Drop Multiplexer)                  As for optical access, 1 Gb/s class FTTH is being launched, and
that carries out optical branching and insertion & amplification, and            R&D on next generation optical access systems is being actively
PON (Passive Optical Network) system that carries out optical                   pursued in terms of high capacity and higher speed for achieving high-
branching (down) and optical time division multiplexing (up). There             definition image distribution, etc. We see a move to full scale technology
have been dramatic cost reductions with the introduction of such                development for 10G-EPON (10 G Ethernet PON) that saw its
systems that are based on technological innovations such as                     standardization completed in September 2009, and technological
multiwavelength optical batch amplification and optical switches. For            developments in next-generation optical access systems applied in
instance, the main advantage of the existing practical use DWDM                 multilevel modulation technology and signal processing technology.
system is that it bundles and sends 10 Gb/s signals at 40~80 wavelength,           With regards to the optical LAN/interconnect field, technological
and the system capacity of each fiber in the core net and metro net is           developments in 40 Gb/s and 100 Gb/s Ethernet that were scheduled
between 0.4~0.8 Tb/s.                                                           to be standardized by June 2010 are reaching their climax. Moreover,
   However, R&D on such optical communication network technologies              maximum capacity of backbone routers/switches has already crossed
is expected to reach a turning point as we enter the 2010s decade. Just         1 Tb/s per unit, and 4~10 Tb/s router/switches are expected to be
a simple transmission system of switching a light ON/OFF operates               introduced from 2010 onwards. For this, the focus is on ultra-high
at 10 Gb/s per wavelength, and wavelength multiplexing per fiber is              speed-up with channel bit rate of ≥ 20 Gb/s, and technology related to
about 100 waves, reaching the physical limit of each optical fiber. With         energy saving optical devices/circuits/assemblies with < 10mW/
the introduction of optics technology, there has been a rapid speed-up          Gb/s.
of Ethernet LAN (Local Area Network), and 100 Gb/s Ethernet is                     In the optical fiber field, as FTTH is being used increasingly, there
expected to get standardized in the year 2010. LAN optical technology           are advances in technology development of low-bending-loss optical
is expected to foray into the 100G era, ahead of WANs (Wide Area                fibers used in premise/access systems that help in achieving improved
Networks). In other words, the role of accelerating the speed-up process        degree of freedom for wiring and equipment miniaturization, and skill-
of optics technology is shifting from WAN to LAN. Furthermore, the              less line opening construction. Investigations on multicore fibers have
focus is now beginning to shift towards internal parts of equipment             also been initiated, aiming for breakthroughs in the physical limits of
(optical interconnection).                                                      fiber optics capacity in trunk line systems.
   Based on this background, working group 2 summarized this fiscal
year s trends in optical communication network technology, with                 4.    Optical Memory and Information Processing (Working
consideration given to the following 6 fields.                                         Group 3)
   1. Trunk optical transmission systems                                           The market conditions concerning optical memory in FY 2009 are
   2. Photonic nodes                                                            becoming increasingly unclear. Coupled with the spread of network
   3. Optical networking                                                        distribution of contents, and achievement of high capacity low-cost
   4. Access network                                                            semiconductor memory, the marketability of optical memory came
   5. Optic LAN/interconnect                                                    under threat. On the other hand, 3D displays, higher definition cameras
   6. Optical fibers                                                             and contents needing large capacity optical memory are being launched.
   Concerning trunk line optical transmission systems, there has been           Moreover, construction of archive systems using optical memory is

                                                                           19                                                   Annual Technical Report
                                                                                                                                          2009 OITDA
being investigated, with the purpose of energy conservation.                     come up with the eco point system and the approaching switch to
Technological developments in optical information processing                     digital broadcasts in 2011. There has been rapid growth in demand for
technology are not restricted to the existing memory system or search            low-cost goods, due to the decrease in demand from U.S. and expansion
systems, but have spread to other fields such as information security,            of emerging markets such as China and India. Simultaneously, there
measurement, and manufacturing.                                                  is a global demand for a switchover to a low-energy society, with a
   Through a survey of technological trends in this field this fiscal year,        top priority being reduction in electricity consumed by displays.
development trends for the present and next-generation optical memory            Regulations are being reinforced with specific energy conservation
systems were investigated and their differences and advantages                   targets, such as Energy Star, EuP, and amendment of the Act on the
compared with those of other memory technologies were summarized.                Rational Use of Energy (FY 2010). There is an increasing need for
Moreover, new developments in the field of optical information                    cost reduction technology, power consumption reduction technology,
processing were investigated. The investigation points are summarized            and resource saving technology. Moreover, 3D is a popular topic at
below.                                                                           national and international trade exhibitions, and many products are
                                                                                 planned to be launched, making 2010 the dawn of the new 3D
4.1 Development of Blue Optical Disc                                             market.
   The specifications for Blu-ray Disc (BD) standards for 3D content
were released in FY 2009, and the demand for optical memory with                 5.1 Electronic Display Devices
larger capacity has been growing. In response to this situation,                 5.1.1 Liquid Crystal Displays (LCDs)
technology developments in multilayer technology that further improves              This year, the broad trend is toward 3D images and flexibility, and
the capacity of the existing system (BD) were investigated. This fiscal           both trends are opening up new application fields for LCDs. Since
year, there were advances in multilayer technology, particularly in              liquid crystal is a polarization control device and not a light emitting
rewritable optical disks (3 layer 100 GB) and recordable disks (10               element, 3D display is a perfectly suitable field of application. With
layer 320 GB). In ROM, a 16 layer 400 GB disk has already been                   regards to flexibility, there is progress in properties of organic and
announced, and a capacity of over 100 GB in all existing optical                 oxide semiconductors, and flexible displays are being developed using
memory shapes using multilayer technology has been demonstrated.                 plastic board. Having liquidity properties and voltage driving force,
   Investigations were made on trends of technologies required to                liquid crystals are a suitable display element for flexible displays.
differentiate vs. other memory technologies, in terms of archival uses,          Moreover, display mode and structure that further improves the optical
broadcast uses, and energy conservation. Optical disks are strong in             transmittance of backlight was developed as a step for prevention of
features such as long life, portability and energy conservation, but we          global warming.
found that increasing their capacity and transfer speeds are major issues
for their adoption in archival uses etc. vs. magnetic disks and magnetic         5.1.2 Plasma Display Panels (PDPs)
tapes.                                                                              PDP panels are being manufactured by just 3 companies in the world:
                                                                                 1 Japanese and 2 Korean companies. With the continuous increase in
4.2 Next-Generation Large-Capacity Technology                                    the demand for panels, expansion and operation of efficient new lines
   A survey was done on the development of next generation large                 is being initiated. Moreover, supply of new panels to is also starting
capacity technology, and progress made on near-field optical disks,               in China and India. After the Lehman shock, display prices continued
ultra-resolution disks, hologram, 3D bit by bit recording, and elemental         to decline, leading to further advancements in low cost technology.
technologies, such as signal processing technology, server technology            There have been continuous developments in low power technology.
and components, used for achieving large capacity in the above-                  Owing to the demand for high definition products such as super high-
mentioned fields. For the first time, reading of contents using super-             definition television (4k x 8k resolution) and digital cinema (2k x 4k),
resolution disks (50 GB (BD x 2), twice the speed), and 34 layer/204             a 2k x 4k panel was prototyped and a 3DPDP was exhibited.
GB using micro-reflector having just one layer of bit by bit volumetric
records, were achieved this fiscal year, thereby confirming steps forward          5.1.3 Organic Electro-Luminescence
in the appearance of technologies moving towards practical                          The expected market for organic EL television has not yet been
applications.                                                                    established due to delays in finding solutions for issues such as
                                                                                 increasing the size, backplane, lower cost, etc. Furthermore, EL cost
4.3 Optical Information Processing                                               reduction is lagging far behind liquid crystal displays and PDP.
   As research topics on optical information processing that has started         However, in small size displays of up to 3 inches, its market share is
to spread across various fields, information security technology, 3D              gradually growing in fields such as mobile phones and MP3 players.
information technology, and their respective technology trends including         As for the backplane issue, the solution may lie in oxide semiconductors.
new trends, were investigated. Their representative examples were;               Moreover, in spectacles-based 3D television, a refresh rate of 240 Hz
photonic smart media and hierarchical memory based on near-field                  or more may be required in the future, and the winds may be favorable
optical interaction, super-high speed two-dimensional optical                    for organic EL displays due to their fast response speed.
information retrieval system that uses hologram, and technology trends
in digital optics. Presently, their development is primarily academic,           5.1.4 Field Emission Display (FED) and Micro Electro Mechanical System
and we hope these fields will evolve into industries.                                   (MEMS)
                                                                                    Active research and development is being done in field emission
5.    Displays (Working Group 4)                                                 display which is equipped with MEMS technology that uses field
   Amidst the sluggish in the global recession, there has been a sudden          emitter array as the electron source. As for the light source, backlight
fall in the prices of displays. At the same time, active demand has also         with low environmental burden is being sought for liquid crystal

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          2009 OITDA
                                                                                                    Optoelectronic Technology Trends

display, and there is suddenly much more research on field emission                given to achieve higher performance CMOS image sensors (high speed,
lamps, in which it is possible to manufacture level surface/atypical              wider dynamic range, high sensitivity) and incorporating more functions
light source without using mercury that causes environmental pollution.           such as high level functionality (3D measurement and biomedical
In recent years, active R&D has also begun on displays using quantum              applications).
dots, and on MEMS displays that display images by using MEMS
micromirrors for optical reflection, diffraction and interference                  6.2 Disaster-prevention-related information systems for municipalities
phenomena, or by using MEMS optical shutters for optical                             This fiscal year, the trends on disaster prevention information systems
modulation.                                                                       for municipalities were surveyed. Since only the municipal mayor has
                                                                                  the authority to give evacuation warnings and orders, the tasks of
5.1.5 Electronic paper                                                            gathering and managing information for making a decision and means
   In electronic paper, electrophoresis is the most popular method when           of communicating the announcement are extremely important issues.
it comes to digital book readers. However there are active technological          Until now the disaster prevention systems used by the municipalities
developments in other methods such as powder movement method,                     were independent dedicated systems such as disaster prevention radio
twist ball method, bistable liquid crystal method, electrochromic                 communication systems, but such systems are greatly affected by of
method, electrowetting method etc. A developmental trend is also seen             municipality mergers, and their reconstruction is a major issue. On the
in applied surfaces in terms of all-purpose paper readers, price tags,            other hand, with the development of information and communication
POP advertisements etc.                                                           technology such as WEB and LAN, and the spread of terrestrial digital
                                                                                  broadcasting and emergency area emails, drastic changes can be
5.1.6 Projection                                                                  expected over the next few years.
   This fiscal year, investigations were made on screen technology,
new method optical system technology, light bubble technology, light              6.3 Biometrics (Applications of network cameras and biometrics)
source technology for projectors, and on the latest situation on all types           The household broadband penetration rate has passed 60% in Japan.
of projectors (micro projectors, ultra short focus projectors, 3D                 High bandwidth wireless communications (WiMAX, XGP, LTE, etc.)
projectors, etc.)                                                                 will be available in 2010. Also, use of netbooks and smartphones etc.
                                                                                  is expected to become more widespread. With the spread of IP cameras,
5.1.7 3-D Display                                                                 web cameras and mobile phones with cameras, it has become possible
   The year 2010 is expected to be the dawn of 3D display , in which              to handle large quantities of image data. Therefore, intelligent video
a full blown market for 3D is expected to be established. However,                functions that instantly retrieve important information from large
common measurement concepts for three-dimensional display are not                 quantities of live video using biometrics and image processing
properly formed as yet, and there is a pressing global need to establish          technology have gained importance. Reports were made on these
the measurement methods. Investigations were made on measurement                  applied technologies.
methods for 3D displays, the status of its international standardization,
and the latest situation of various 3D display devices.                           6.4 Image Input Devices
                                                                                     Various initiatives are being taken to rectify the problems in single-
5.2 Electronic Display Basic Technology                                           lens reflex digital cameras, which have been recently gaining popularity.
   The latest situation on improvements made in video quality and                 The problem in this camera is that image quality gets affected during
color reproduction of displays was surveyed.                                      lens conversion, as dirt sticks to the image sensor (or correctly called
                                                                                  the low-pass filter), and the latest technologies are being introduced
5.3 Topics                                                                        to tackle this issue. Moreover, technologies related to new concepts in
   The issues in flexible displays, their future prospects, and performance        digital camera modules, and dynamic range magnification technologies
of curved images were taken up as topics.                                         for photographing large subjects having luminescence difference are
                                                                                  being introduced.
6.    Human Interface (Working Group 5)
   This subcommittee investigated a wide range of trends in the latest            6.5 Ubiquitous Interaction (Universal Web Design)
human interface technologies, from an input device to application                    The purpose of universal web design is to make web usage easier
technologies. Typically, it conducts an in-house survey on technological          for people, including senior citizens and handicapped persons. For
trends in the fields of image sensor devices, image input device/                  this, continuing on the survey done in FY 2007 on technology for
apparatus, disaster prevention-related systems, biometrics, ubiquitous            supporting web contents creation, and in FY 2008 on technology for
interaction, and relief/security services. It also added the brain-machine        supporting output of contents, this fiscal year, technologies to evaluate
interface field in its 2-3 year plan.                                              web universal designs were surveyed. A few of the challenges in
                                                                                  evaluation are (1) definition of evaluation standards, (2) increase in
6.1 Image Sensors                                                                 objects to be evaluated, (3) methods of displaying evaluation results,
   In the IISW (International Image Sensor Workshop), trends on image             etc. Investigations were made on evaluation guidelines such as the
sensor devices were explained based on the reports and journals from              UWEM 1.2 of EU, construction of evaluation conforming to the WCAG
related associations (ISSCC, The Institute of Image Information and               2.0 standards, summary of JISX 8341-3 revisions, problems in Japan s
Television Engineers, etc.). Development of back-illuminated image                web technologies, etc.
sensors is being actively pursued in the backdrop of competition to
miniaturize the image pixels. Sooner or later miniaturization will reach          6.6 Brain Machine Interface
its peak and therefore, apart from imaging, more importance is being                 In accordance with development of brain function measurement

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                                                                                                                                           2009 OITDA
technology in recent years, research and development in technology                 7.2   Processing-related technology
called brain machine interface (BMI) has been going on along with                      Scanner is an essential technology for improving the throughput
the growing understanding of brain functions. BMI is said to be the                of laser processing, and high output of lasers for processing is making
ultimate interface that measures and analyses the brain activities, for            it indispensable to have high-speed scanning of laser beams.
 operations by thought alone . BMI was developed as a means of                     Investigations were made on technologies that use optical encoders in
communication and environmental control, for patients who lack                     location sensors by digitally controlling the Galvano scanner, which
physical freedom but can think normally. This document introduces                  is a digital high-speed scanner that scans mechanically at a high
the basic configuration and user tasks, brain activity measurement                  speed. Moreover, the multi-prism scanner and KTN scanner that apply
technology which is the main technology, and an example of BMI                     electro-optic effects, in which prism is electrically scanned, were
(P300 Speller).                                                                    investigated under electro-optic effect scanners.

6.7   Home security / reliable service (Computerization of healthcare              7.3 Processing Technology
      information and social security, and introduction of cards)                     Until now, welding, the technique for joining metals, was in the
   There is growing importance of enhancing medical welfare                        mainstream as a technology for joining similar materials, but recently,
technology for the aging population, along with individualized medical             technologies are being developed that join different materials such as
treatment and medication to match the body s constitution and illness              metals with plastics etc. This fiscal year, investigations were made on
of individuals. Under the health care system reforms, discussions are               junction technology using ultrashort pulses, and junction technology
ongoing to use a single social security card that includes social security         using CW laser, junction technology using insert materials. It is now
information, pension book, health insurance information and nursing                possible to input heat only around the junction part with precise heat
insurance information. This would be infrastructure to promote effective           input control of the laser. Now two pieces of glass can be joined, and
and efficient health care with nursing, rehabilitation, prevention, and             different materials can be joined, for example glass with metal, metal
health. Against this backdrop, a survey was done on computerized                   with plastic (resin), etc.
social security/medical care sectors in developed countries, and a survey
on technologies related to security, optical technology and its application        7.4    Measurement Technologies
examples.                                                                              Digital holography is a technology that reproduces numerical values
                                                                                   in a computer and uses imaging elements such as CCD to digitize
7.    Laser Processing and Optical Measurement (Working                            recorded images, instead of using conventional photographic plates.
      Group 6)                                                                     It is expected to be used in various applications since its high speed
   This fiscal year, the survey of processing and measurement included              processing can provide digitally obtained information to distant places,
 fiber lasers, hybrid lasers and chirped pulse oscillators as optical               and the image developing process is not required.
technology for manufacturing; scanners as processing-related                          A Super high speed photography camera in which the photographing
technology; bonding technology using various lasers as processing                  speed can be 1 million frames/second or more was summarized under
technology; and digital holography and super-high speed image                       super-high speed image measurement . Color video camera
measurement as measurement technologies.                                           broadcasting at 2 million frames/second is already being used at up to
                                                                                   410 x 720 (295,200) image pixels, and it is thought that its role will
7.1 Light source technology for manufacturing                                      steadily grow with more improvements underway in ultra high speed
   The usefulness of fiber laser as the light source in manufacturing               and ultra high sensitivity.
has been gaining prominence. Deep ultraviolet pulse light source is
a Japanese fiber laser technology already being used in factories in                8     Photovoltaic Energy (Working Group 7)
inspection equipment. The ultra-short pulse laser has already been                 8.1 Crystalline Type Silicon Photovoltaic Cells
used commercially for substrate splitting in the semiconductor field                   There is increasing demand for lower-cost, higher efficiency
and as LASIK in the medical field, and its usage is expected to spread              crystalline type silicon photovoltaic cells, and cells with extremely
to other fields.                                                                    high conversion efficiency of over 20% are in mass production. In the
   Although the hybrid laser has not been solidly defined, all reports              cost competition in the whole photovoltaic cell system, including
have positioned it as a laser combining the advantages of solid-state              installation costs etc., further optimization is important for competing
laser, semiconductor laser diode, and fiber laser. The reports documented           against power generating systems that use low-cost cells even if their
different types of hybrid lasers, such as a type in which solid-state laser         efficiency is not high. From this point of view, there has been active
to amplify seed light from stable fiber laser, a type that excites solid-           development in HIT solar cells, high efficiency solar cells with an
state laser with semiconductor laser diode excitation fiber laser, and a            emitter-wrap-through structure or a back contact type structure, in
type that serially couples multimode fiber and single mode fiber in a                which either of the p or n layer electrodes are located on the rear
semiconductor laser.                                                               surface. Whereas from the cost aspect, improvements in the quality of
   In a chirping pulse oscillator, a new scheme is being researched                polycrystalline silicon ingots, and the development of new single crystal
where chirping pulse is directly generated inside the oscillator to replace        growth technology are being pursued worldwide. There is solid progress
the existing scheme where the ultrashort pulse from the laser oscillator           in evaluation of the single crystal grown using the single crystal growth
is stretched outside to obtain the chirping pulse. With this method,               technology MONO2 that employs the cast method announced by BP
amplification of chirping pulse can be done by attaching it as is to the            Solar last year. As for this technology, fresh research and development
amplifier, and it can be applied in simple laser processing also, as large          has also begun in other countries such as China. New low-cost raw
pulse output can be obtained from the oscillator unit.                             materials technology and substrate manufacturing technology are
                                                                                   expected to become even more important in the future.

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          2009 OITDA
                                                                                                    Optoelectronic Technology Trends

8.2 Silicon Thin Film Type Photovoltaic Cells                                    at commercialization for general users. Riding on the tide of energy
   The size of thin film silicon module surface is worthy of special              and environmental issues, color sensitized solar cells are getting noticed
mention. The majority of companies produce modules of 1.4m2 or                   as prospective next-generation solar cells all over the world, with
more, which is about twice the size of other thin film modules.                   venture companies established and great activity in various projects.
Particularly, the 472W module with a size of 5.7m2 reported by Sun               It is expected that implementation of color sensitized solar cells will
Film is striking. If installations of this jumbo size can be standardized        get closer to commercialization with the broadening of the base of
in the future, system cost reductions can be achieved by reducing the            technology and materials.
wiring materials to a large extent, and even if the performance does
not improve, it can still become an attractive product.                          8.5 Organic Thin Film Photovoltaic Cells
   As for performance improvement, 10% efficiency was reported in                    We can see that the highest efficiency is rapidly advancing, with
Oerlicon s small surface area amorphous silicon. Since there is a                above 5% in FY 2008, rising to 6~7% in the current fiscal year. As for
possibility that this will lead to improved efficiency of tandem solar            the overall trend, the development institutes that reported maximum
cells that use this amorphous technology, there are hopes for its future         efficiency are all university ventures, and the development is being
developments.                                                                    pursued using funds provided by government, institutional investors,
   New trends are seen from the science aspect. This is particularly a           businesses, etc.
report on application of plasmonics and photonics in optical confinement             Until now, the majority of the cells that have achieved high efficiency
effects. However they have still not led to improvements in efficiency.           have been using n-type fullerene, and bulk heterodiode junction types
There are some questions about their effectiveness in applications such          blended with p-type organic semiconductors. The new donor materials
as solar cells that have wide range of wavelengths, and we want to               specialized for organic thin film photovoltaic cells that have been
watch such developments.                                                         developed in earnest from last fiscal year, and development of cell
                                                                                 structures using these materials have contributed to the improvement
8.3 Compound Thin Film Photovoltaic Cells                                        of conversion efficiency.
   This was the year when First Solar s (U.S.) CdTe solar cell module
made a remarkable breakthrough. Meanwhile, major manufacturing                   8.6 Super high-efficiency solar cells
expansion plans for CIGS solar cells were announced by companies                    The record for highest efficiency has been held for a long time by
in Japan, Europe and the U.S., and they are all set for full scale market        NREL (U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory) with its inverted
entry. Progress was seen in conversion efficiency of CIGS modules,                lattice mismatched triple junction cells (40.8%). NREL was followed
with 13.5% conversion efficiency being achieved in 60 x 120 cm                    by Fraunhofer Research Institute (41.1%), and Boeing SPL (41.6%).
opening area, and 10~12% efficiency being achieved in commercially                The new records showed continued but small improvements. The
available modules. In the U.S., many venture businesses manufacturing            inverted lattice mismatched triple junction cell (35.8%, non-
flexible solar cell modules have been established with government                 concentrating solar) recently announced by Sharp in its press release
support. The new trend seen in the current fiscal year is commencement            may change the trend. Perhaps the 2010 records on efficiency will
of CIGS solar cell turnkey businesses by equipment manufacturers.                jump at once, and along with the recent improvement in properties that
Moreover, research and development on CIGS modules has started                   has helped achieve the remarkable quadruple junction cells, 2010 is
with the backing of the governments of Taiwan and Korea, and it looks            likely to see 43~44% development at the lab level.
like this is entering an era of global competition.
   As for current status of conversion efficiency of CIGS modules,                8.7 Third-generation solar cells
there is a difference of about 6% compared with the small area cells,               In recent years, initiatives on third generation solar cells as
and there is large room for improvement. On the other hand, a                    nanotechnology solar cell applications have been increasing. Initially,
conversion efficiency of up to 19% was obtained in small area cells at            intermediate band or hot carrier was proposed and researched. Currently,
many research institutions, but since the theoretical efficiency is 24%,          more than the initially proposed solar cells, there is emphasis on
there still is room for improvement. Furthermore, 25% efficiency can              arguments for use of conversion efficiency in optics management
be achieved with even a single junction, if the ideal pn junction                (including plasmon) using nano metals, quantum dots, and Si nanowires.
formation with band gap of 1.4eV becomes successful. These research              It seems that firstly, the possibility of application of solar cells with
results further contribute towards drastic improvements in large area            quantum nano wires, quantum dots etc. will be tested as an extension
modules, and also enable differentiation from other modules.                     to existing semiconductor technologies.

8.4 Dye-Sensitized Type Photovoltaic Cells                                       8.8 Evaluation Technology
   This year there was no improvement in conversion efficiency of                    With the development of photovoltaic power generation, the demand
cells that had been breaking all official records until now. However,             for precision improvement of the performance evaluation technique
EPFL s measured results reported the efficiency which almost exceeded             has gained momentum. Along with that, improved functionality and
12%. In sub modules, officially recorded efficiency of 8.4% has been               precision of technology for accurate evaluation of long-duration
added to Solar Cell Efficiency Tables7).                                          credibility that influences the effective generation volume and
   There is progress in various endurance tests, data on durability has          generation cost are also being sought. The performance evaluation
been published, and improvement in quality of materials is being                 technology trends, the credibility evaluation technology trends, and
steadily worked on. Furthermore, there have been demonstrations in               the latest trends on standardization were reported. Moreover, the
outdoor field tests, and some prototypes have been released for which             certification trends of each country were also reported.
one can imagine applications utilizing their design characteristics
unique to dye-sensitized solar cells, as part of notable efforts aiming

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                                                                                                                                           2009 OITDA
9.    Medical technology in the optical industry (Working                         prevent increased burden on patients, and provide a wider range of
      Group 8)                                                                    options for citizens. It is important to keep track of optical technology
   Working group 8 on the Medical Optical-Industry Technology, aiming             approved as Advanced medical care, because insurance is expected
at surveying the trends in applications of optical technology to the              to be provided for it in the future. Although it is applied in advanced
medical industry and specifying the problems inherent to medical                  treatments such as percutaneous laser disk decompression (treatment
applications, has done investigation activities since FY 2008.                    of transpiration of marrow structure present in the intervertebral disks
   Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) is a non-invasive tomographic               using laser) used to treat disk hernia, most cases in Japan get treated
imaging diagnostic technology and a hot topic in the bio-optics field              privately in private hospitals, and some laser medical treatment
in recent years. Near-infrared light topography uses brain blood flow              technologies have some fundamentally doubtful points in treatment
information to obtain new knowledge on brain functions. These two                 itself in which the desired results cannot be obtained if indications are
topics were investigated this fiscal year as upcoming opto-medical                 not selected carefully. In the future, a top priority would be to first
technologies. Opto-medical technologies that are approved by Ministry             understand the indications and their mechanisms in a scientific manner,
of Health, Labor and Welfare as Advanced medical care were also                   and then execute the treatment with laser.
investigated. Continuing from the previous fiscal year, marketability
of laser medical treatment in Japan was investigated, and issues faced             9.3 Marketability of Laser medical treatment in Japan
by the medical optoelectrical industry and technology in Japan were                  In Japan, the production and sales situation of laser equipment for
reported.                                                                         medical treatment for the fiscal year 2009 was unfortunately worse
                                                                                  than the previous year. The reason for the situation going from bad
9.1 New Optomedical technology                                                    to worse is the gradual and still continuing decrease in the dental laser
9.1.1 Optical Tomographic Imaging                                                 market that had been driving the laser market in Japan for a long time,
   OCT is a technology that gives a tomographic image of a living                 but peaked in fiscal year 2002. With the number of years that have
body, to a subepidermal depth of 1~2 mm at a spatial resolution of                passed, it was quite possible that a new dental laser would have been
10 m. It is a biometry technology with simple equipment configuration              launched, but this does not look likely. This suggests that the medical
that cleverly uses characteristics of optical waves. Based on low                 laser industry of Japan is facing crisis conditions.
coherence optical interference, OCT selectively detects the direct optic             In order to overcome this situation, industry, government and
elements being reflected from the interstitial part when light is exposed          academia must join hands together and take a common course of action
to the body tissue, and based on this, it constructs a 2 dimensional              to develop laser equipment for medical use. Based on new ideas for
tomographic image. This technology was proposed in the beginning                  the medical system and engineering system and backed by the
of 1990 and was actually implemented only 5 years later in                        government, internationally competitive business enterprises can
ophthalmology for retinal diagnostics. Now it is an indispensable                 develop high quality made-in-Japan laser equipment for medical
method of examination in clinical ophthalmology, and is expected to               treatment for the first time in Japan, thereby contributing to the welfare
see further progress in the future. Moreover, with progress in                    of the world. Due attention must be paid to the future trends in order
achievement of high resolution and high speed examinations, starting              to start such a positive cycle.
with dermatology, its scope of clinical applications is spreading to
digestive system surgery, obstetrics and gynecology, urology, etc.                10. Overseas Field Survey
                                                                                     As part of the Optoelectronic Technology Trend Research Committee
9.1.2 Near-infrared Optical Tomography                                            activities, every year, the committee conducts an overseas field survey
   The near-infrared topography method was developed in 1995 based                on optoelectronic technology development and trends.
on the principles of brain blood flow measurement using a near-infrared               This fiscal year, investigators were dispatched to WC2009 (Munich)
spectroscopy method proposed by F.F. Jobsis in 1977. It images                    in September and to WT2010 (Spain) in January to investigate medical
intracerebral hemodynamic variations in brain activity. By developing             related trends, and trends in optical materials and devices in a Europe
this from spot measurement to surface measurement, it has been                    field survey. The summary of their reports is given below.
implemented in clinical procedures such as determination of the                   (1) WC 2009 (Munich) conference
language dominant hemisphere, examination of neurological seizure                  Investigator: Makoto Sakai (Osaka University)
position, etc. Moreover, in the fundamental neuroscience field, previous            Fellow investigators: Katsunori Ishii (Osaka University, Observer of
measurement technology had a difficult approach in measuring the                       Working Group 8)
language functions in newborn babies immediately after birth. With                 Location: International Congress Center Munich
this technology, there is a newfound knowledge in this area, and it is             Schedule: September 6-13, 2009
becoming an important methodology in development science. Further,                 Summary: Surveyed the trends of research on optical technology in
in near-infrared light topography, many parts can be configured in the                           the biomedical engineering field. Surveyed announcements
semiconductor, and a noteworthy advantage is that it can be miniaturized                        in a diverse range of fields: radiation oncology, diagnostic
in principle. Its expansion to versatile brain function imaging technology                      imaging, image processing, biosignal processing, modelling
is expected, with progress in research and development.                                         and simulation, biomechanics, telemedicine and e-health,
                                                                                                endoscopy and image guided therapy, diagnostic and
9.2   Laser medical treatment approved as advanced medical treatment                            therapeutic instrumentation, clinical engineering, active
    Advanced medical care is a health care system approved by the                               implants, biosensors, neuroengineering, rehabilitation and
Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare. It is recognized as a system                             prosthetics, biomaterials, cellular and tissue engineering,
that uses ultramodern diagnostic technologies and health insurance                              artificial organs, etc. However, it was felt that the research
treatment meant to ensure convenience and safety of the citizens,                               report on optics technology did not contain much

Annual Technical Report                                                      24
          2009 OITDA
                                                                                                   Optoelectronic Technology Trends

             information. There should be much applied research on              12. Patent Trend Survey Committee
             optical technology in medical and biotechnology fields.             12.1 Survey of Patent Trends Related to Optoelectronic Technology
             It was thought important that this is discussed in a                  This fiscal year, the working group system was continued and
             biomedical engineering field conference with many                   investigation and analysis were carried out. Fixed-point observation
             participating clinicians and healthcare professionals who          was carried out on patent application trends in each of the industrial
             actually apply the technology.                                     fields of optical communication networks, optical memories, display
(2) WT 2010 (Spain) conference, Technical University of Madrid, Visit           screens and solar energy. This fiscal year, a detailed analysis was carried
    to LPI company                                                              out on patent trends in each of the technological fields of ROF,
 Investigators: Toshio Katsuyama (University of Fukui)                          mechanical optical switches, optical fiber amplifiers, silicon solar cells,
                 Kimio Tatsuno (Optoelectronic Industry and                     and concentrating solar cells.
                 Technology Development Association)
 Conference location: Winter Topicals 2010 (Majorca, Spain)                     12.2 Informal Meeting with the Japan Patent Office (December 9, 2009)
                        Visit to Technical University of Madrid                   Meeting participants included: 6 members of the Patent Evaluation
 Schedule: January 9-18, 2010                                                   First Section of Optical Devices, including Mr. Nishimura, the
 Summary: Winter Topicals 2010 is organized by the IEEE Photonics               Evaluation Administrator; and 10 members of the Patent Trend Survey
             Society (former LEOS) twice each year in summer and                Committee, including Dr. Ito, the Chairperson. This fiscal year,
             winter. This time it was held for the 3rd time on January          Chairperson Ito gave a talk on the theme of Patent Application Trends
             11-13, 2010 as Next Generation Photonic Devices and                for the Optical Technology Industry, and Requests to the Patent
             Applications . The selected topics were important fields            Office .
             in photonics that have been attracting a lot of attention            Mr. Nishimura, the Evaluation Administrator, gave a talk on Recent
             recently, with timely theme selection. Overall 60% of the          Trends in Patent Administration on behalf of the Patent Office.
             conference constituted of invited speakers, and there were         Particularly, he explained the initiatives on international burden
             detailed debates after each session. The conference had            reduction and harmony in international applications, policies for
             detailed discussions by more than 100 participating                improving examination quality, methods for dealing with shift
             advanced specialists.                                              amendment, etc. The participants had enthusiastic discussions and
                The Technical University of Madrid is involved in               exchanged opinions on the contents of the lectures.
             organizational work for establishments doing research on
             solar energy, and is vigorously pursuing research on               12.3 Patent Forum
             Intermediate Band Solar Cells (IBSC). The materials being             The OITDA Patent Forum, consisting of reports on the results of
             tried are quantum dots, alloys etc.                                this fiscal year s patent trend survey and special lectures, was held in
                LPI is a venture that has been developing design                Gakushi-Kaikan (Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo) on February 24, 2010. Attendants
             technologies such as illumination optics for LED lights,           were supporting members and the general public, numbering about 80
             aspherical lens for efficiently condensing sunlight into            people in total.
             solar cells, etc. under the technical guidance of Prof.               This fiscal year, 2 special lectures were given. One was on the topic
             Minano and Prof. Benezi of UPD. Optics design                       Intellectual property dispute and corporations - Practical points to
             technology has been Japan s strength and now competitors           remember on patents related disputes by Mr. Ryoichi Mimura , a
             area appearing. As a policy of Japan, aggressive investment        leading person of Japan s intellectual property litigation, who served
             in this field is expected.                                          as Judge on the Intellectual Property High Court for a long period, and
                                                                                is a Partner at the law firm Nagashima Ohno & Tsunematsu. The other
11. Flash Report on International Conferences                                   was on China s science and Technology Strengths and Patents Trends
   The Flash Reports on International Conferences constitute an                 by Mr. Rensei Baba , former Editorial Writer at Yomiuri Shimbun,
information service that distributes the latest trends in optoelectronic        specialist on intellectual property strategy and China issues, and a
research and development presented at major international conferences.          Professor at Tokyo University of Science.
The reports include the subjective opinions of the author, and are sent
via e-mail within one or two weeks of conferences. This fiscal year,
44 flash reports were distributed. The report title, conference dates and
field of technology are shown in the following Table.

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                                                                                                                                          2009 OITDA

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