Over the next 2 years, new game-changing photonics technologies are unlocking business opportunities in the life sciences, agriculture, telecommunications, computing, photovoltaics, and automotive sectors. Through the ability to make technologies faster, smaller, smarter, and more energy-efficient, photonics are unlocking these opportunities through large transformational drivers such as mobility (e.g. LiDAR, digital mirror devices, and intelligence forward lighting), biometrics (e.g. textile illumination, palm vein and 3D facial recognition), connectivity (e.g. megastructure smart lighting, VR/MR/AR, gesture recognition), health & well-being (e.g. near-infrared spectroscopy, health-centric wearables, and urban farming systems).
The global rates for the creation and the consumption of digital content are growing exponentially. By 2025, the estimated global total amount of digital data is forecast to approach 175 trillion gigabytes. Many application areas that produce or rely on significant amounts of data are also expected to grow substantially over the next two years, including cloud computing, big data analytics, smart manufacturing, IoT sensing platforms, 5G, mobility, and telemedicine. As a result, innovative data storage systems that are non-volatile, ultrafast, energy-efficient, and cost-effective will be crucial in addressing the anticipated level of demand. From big data centres to personal data storage solutions, short-term innovation opportunities provided by HAMR (heat-assisted magnetic recording), MAMR (microwave-assisted magnetic recording) and 3D NAND will double the areal density of data storage in 1-2 years. These technologies will also improve other key indicators of the performance of data storage systems.