2011 Events

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December 17, 2011: "The future of gesture recognition" by Sinclair Vass, Senior Director of Marketing and Business Operations, JDSU


Our annual "family holiday lecture" will address "gesture recognition" - the ability for systems to recognize body movements and interpret them as "commands". We'll have examples of gesture recognition systems for video games and for work applications, and talk about likely future developments in this fast-growing market. This should be interesting for the whole family, so bring kids and spouses. Dinner will be served before the meeting during the networking time, along with bubbling cider and cake.

A quarter century ago, user interfaces took a big step forward from the command line to the mouse. Recent devices from the last year or two let users dispense with the remote control, mouse, trackpad, and pointer, and replace them with "gesture recognition": - one motto is "you are the controller". Some applications for this are fun, such as the use in video game controllers; others look like something out of science fiction movies. We'll talk about how current systems work, the market for them, and what we think is coming over the next few years.

There will be two gesture recognition gaming systems available before the presentation for kids and families to try out.


Sinclair Vass, Senior Director of Marketing, is responsible for driving strategic marketing and marcom activities for the communications and commercial optical products group (CCOP) within JDSU . Sinclair also is a leader of the new market council, and has responsibility for selecting adjacent markets for development, drawing on the expertise of a broad range of internal and external experts that he works with. He leads major initiatives in the optical communications, commercial lasers, solar and consumer markets.

Sinclair previously held the position of Director of Sales for EMEA within JDSU. Prior to JDSU, Sinclair directed sales activity for New Focus's European division from 2000 to 2004. At Lucent Technologies Germany, Sinclair held the role of technical and product market manager from 1994 - 1998, where he managed the technical and commercial design cycle for Lucent's fibre based micro-electronic products in Europe. Prior to his career at Lucent, Sinclair held various product marketing and manufacturing positions at UK-based Hewlett Packard Ltd. within the Fibre Optics Components division from 1994 - 1998. He also served as a research engineer at Plessey Research (Caswell) from 1991 - 1994, with a focus on coherent optical communications.

Sinclair received an MBA from Open University in Milton Keynes, England, and has a BSc in Physics with Honors from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland.

November 1, 2011: "Recent advances in green and blue laser diodes fabricated on nonpolar/semipolar GaN substrates" by Dr. James W. Raring, Vice President of Laser Engineering, Soraa Inc.

Abstract: Fueled by rapid progress toward the commercialization of the direct-diode green laser and the introduction of innovative new display technologies based on blue-laser diode pumped green phosphors, we are entering a paradigm shift for projection displays that will require a massive deployment of GaN-based laser diodes. By combining direct green laser diodes with the already available red and blue laser diodes, a compact, highly-efficient, low-cost R-G-B laser-based light engine is realized to enable brilliant miniature displays with enhanced viewing flexibility. These miniature displays, or so-called pico projectors, will see proliferation into smart-phones, cameras, and other handheld devices. In parallel to the rapid progress in these small scale displays, we are in the midst of a swift technology shift in high lumen output projectors serving markets such as desktop projectors, home theater, digital advertising, and cinema where conventional bulb illumination is being replaced with laser diode based illumination. The cumulative result of these new consumer applications requiring GaN-based blue and green laser will drive the next boom in laser diode demand.

Soraa Inc. is pursuing the unconventional nonpolar and semipolar orientations of bulk GaN for the development of high performance green and blue laser diodes. These novel orientations provide superior physics over the conventional c-plane orientation, which suffers from internal polarization fields that spatially separate the electron and hole wavefunctions in the light emitting quantum well regions. Such internal fields reduce the radiatiave recombination efficiency and introduce design constraints on the epitaxial and device structure. Free from these restrictions, Soraa is making rapid progress towards the commercialization of blue and green laser diodes with the demonstrations of the first true green (525nm) continuous wave laser diode and world-class power and efficiency from single-mode blue laser diodes.

James W. Raring

Bio: Dr. Raring received his Ph.D. in Materials Science from the University of California, Santa Barbara in 2006 where he developed an advanced InP-based photonic integration scheme by combining MOCVD regrowth with quantum well intermixing. Leveraging this novel monolithic integration platform, he demonstrated the first single-chip 40 Gb/s optical transceiver. After completing his work at UCSB, Dr. Raring joined Sandia National Laboratories as a Senior Member of Technical Staff in the photonic integrated circuit (PIC) group where he continued development of high-functionality InP-based devices.

In 2008, Dr. Raring joined Soraa Inc. as a founding employee where he has helped grow the company and establish key infrastructure such as the epitaxial growth capabilities. As Vice President of Laser Engineering, he and the Soraa team are developing state-of-the-art blue and green InGaN-based laser diodes fabricated on nonpolar/semipolar GaN substrates towards commercialization. Key achievements for the Soraa laser engineering team include the demonstration of the first true green (525nm) continuous-wave laser diode, record wall-plug efficiency (>23%) from single-mode blue laser diodes, and over 4.5W from a blue laser bar. With over 10 years of experience in compound semiconductor and optoelectronic device technology, Dr. Raring has authored or co-authored over 100 technical papers and conference presentations.

About Soraa:
Soraa is a rapidly expanding semiconductor company leveraging fundamental materials advances. Soraa is commercializing energy saving products such as a new generation of green and blue semiconductor lasers for consumer, biomedical, defense, and industrial applications.

Soraa was founded in 2008 by world renowned laser diode and LED pioneers Professors Shuji Nakamura, Steven Denbaars and James Speck of University of California, Santa Barbara. The company received initial funding from Khosla Ventures and the management team is comprised of high tech industry veterans. Soraa is vertically integrated and located in Santa Barbara and Fremont, CA.

October 4, 2011: "Green photonics overview and trends for the next decade (communications, lighting, solar): A new green direction - the use of rare earth oxides to drive "on-silicon" solutions such as GaN-on-Si and Ge-on-Si" by Michael Lebby, GM and CTO of Translucent Inc.

Abstract: Photonics technologies and products that have been based on semiconductors have experienced significant growth over the past decade, with examples from many consumer and fiber communication products that contain; lasers, displays, solar cells, and LEDs. This talk will review the status of green photonics as it relates to the photonics field, and will explore how the technologies will develop into more exciting products over the next decade.

One example of a new green photonics opportunity is figuring how to put photonics technologies onto large silicon wafers. The talk will show that compliant, lattice matched rare earth oxides (REO) for GaN-on-Si and Ge-on-Si offer a scalable solution that is cost effective and exciting.

  1. Ge-on-Si using REO will enable large, low cost semiconductor platforms for multi-junction high efficiency photovoltaic, solar cells, GaAs based photonics for communications, and GaAs electronics on silicon wafers.
  2. GaN-on-Si using REO will enable large, low cost semiconductor platforms for energy efficient Power FETs and high performance LEDs for solid state lighting

Green photonics technology and market philosophy has been evolving for years as a large portfolio of engineers and scientists strive for energy efficiency, cleaner solutions and improved health in their designs. Traditional photonics segments such as fiber communications, photonic lighting, solar, optical networking, photonic device integration, make up some of the green photonics segment. Data presented from OIDA based in Washington DC., will show that many classic photonic fields will become more 'green' through more efficient product design over the decade.

Bio: In April 2010, Lebby joined Translucent Inc. based in Palo Alto, California to head up the company's R&D efforts to commercialize rare earth oxides for epitaxial based materials that have been developed over the past decade. Crystalline based semiconductor rare-earth oxides exhibit a number of attractive properties for advanced substrate and device solutions that include GaN-on-Si for solid state lighting and power electronics, Ge-on-Si for CPV solar and GaAs based photonics and electronics.

Lebby lead the drive for green photonics while heading OIDA in the mid 2000s. The adoption and acceleration of this new discipline has become a significant focus for the photonics industry.

Lebby's career has spanned all aspects of the optoelectronics business ranging from research and development, operations, manufacturing, and finance, to sales, marketing, and investing. Lebby has worked at RSRE for the British Government in the UK, AT&T Bell Labs, Motorola, Tyco Electronics, Intel, Ignis Optics (VC backed start-up that was sold to Bookham - now Oclaro), OIDA, and presently, Translucent.

With more than 180 USPTO utility patents issued in the field of optoelectronics, Lebby has been cited by the USPTO to be in the most prolific 75 inventors in the country from 1988-1997. Lebby is a Fellow member of IEEE and OSA, and has testified on behalf of the optoelectronics industry while working for OIDA on Capitol Hill. Lebby has given numerous talks, speeches, panel discussions, and interviews, on the subject of optoelectronics internationally over the past two decades. Lebby has 2 doctorates and a MBA from the University of Bradford in the UK.

September 6, 2011: "Photonic Technologies for Datacenter Networking" by Dr. Cedric F. Lam, Google Inc.

Abstract: The author will review the growing trend of warehouse-scale mega-datacenter computing, the Internet transformation driven by mega-datacenter applications, and the opportunities and challenges for fiber optic communication technologies to support the growth of mega-datacenter computing in the next three to four years.

In this talk, we will start from the basic architectural structure of mega data centers, the bandwidth and energy efficiency challenge in scaling datacenter networks. Then we discuss the importance of photonic interconnects in scaling datacenter networks. We will also discuss the myths of photonic switching in data networking applications and compare photonic switching with electronic switching.

Bio: Dr. Cedric F. Lam is currently heading an R&D team working on Google's Fiber-to-the-Home (FTTH) initiative. Prior to starting the FTTH effort, he worked on optical technologies for datacenter networks.

Before joining Google, Cedric was chief system architect at OpVista Inc., responsible for the development of an ultra-dense WDM transport system with integrated ROADM functionality. Prior to OpVista, Cedric was senior technical staff member at AT&T Labs-Research. His research covers broadband optical transport and access networks architectures, optical signal modulation and transmission, passive optical network, HFC, etc. His current focus is in optical networking technologies for data center applications and Fiber-to-the-Home. Dr. Lam received B.Eng. in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Hong Kong with First Class Honors and PhD. In Electrical Engineering from UCLA

June 8, 2011: Joint meeting with SCV-CPMT chapter "MEMS Adaptive Optics for Biological Imaging" by Prof. Joel Kubby, University of California at Santa Cruz

Abstract: This talk will review the development of wide-field and confocal microscopes with direct wavefront sensing and adaptive optics for correcting aberrations when imaging through thick tissues (Drosophila embryos and mouse brain tissue). Similar to the wavefront measurement using "artificial guide stars" in astronomical imaging, where atomic sodium in a layer in the Earth's mesosphere at an altitude of 95 km is excited at resonance by a high-power sodium laser, we have developed an approach for making wavefront measurements using implanted fluorescent reference beacons for use as artificial guide stars. Using this approach we show that the Strehl ratio can be improved by an order of magnitude when imaging through thick tissue samples.

Bio: Joel Kubby is a Professor of Electrical Engineering in the Baskin School of Engineering at the University of California at Santa Cruz. His research is in the area of Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) with applications in Optics, Fluidics and Bio-MEMS. Prior to joining the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2005, he was an Area Manager with the Wilson Center for Research and Technology and a Member of Technical Staff in the Webster Research Center in Rochester New York (1987-2005). While with Xerox he received a Xerox Excellence in Science and Technology Award. Prior to Xerox he was at the Bell Telephone Laboratories in Murray Hill New Jersey working in the area of Scanning Tunneling Microscopy (STM). While at Bell Labs he received an Exceptional Contribution Award. He has led a six company industrial research consortium under the National Institute of Standards and Technology's Advanced Technology Program (ATP) to develop a new process for optical MEMS and has over 80 patents and over 40 journal publications. He is the co-chair of the SPIE Silicon Photonics conference and the MEMS Adaptive Optics conference. He likes to sneak around at night on full moons and construct pictures that are large enough to be seen on Google Earth.

May 3, 2011: "An Association Perspective on Solar/PV Manufacturing" by Bettina Weiss, Executive Director, PV Group of SEMI

Abstract: This presentation will provide a 20,000 foot view of the overall PV market and address the challenges facing the industry. It will cover the need for stakeholder collaboration in order to move the industry forward and expand the market while continuing to drive down costs. And finally, how we can leverage semiconductor's existing core competencies in order to create a long-term sustainable solar market.

Bio: Bettina Weiss, as Executive Director, PV Group, oversees the global photovoltaic program (PV Group) for SEMI. She is responsible for global PV strategy and operations for member engagement, expositions, Standards, information products, EHS initiatives, policy and other activities for photovoltaics and is the PV interface to the SEMI International Board of Directors as well as the industry worldwide.

Weiss joined SEMI in 1996 and worked in several Standards positions in SEMI Europe in Brussels Belgium and in global headquarters in San Jose, CA. From 2005 to 2008, she was Director, International Standards, overseeing SEMI's International Standards Program operations. From 2008 to 2010, Weiss helped build SEMI's PV Group initiatives in North America and, later, worldwide.

Prior to joining SEMI, Weiss worked in sales and marketing positions at Metron Semiconductor and Varian Semiconductor in Munich, Germany. She holds a B.A. in English from the Interpreters and Translators Institute in Munich, and is a certified translator for Anglo-American Law and Economics.