This report reviews the status of Japanese optoelectronics technology and manufacturing in comparison to that in the United States. It covers optoelectronic systems (particularly telecommunications, local area networks, and optical interconnections), optical storage technology, waveguide devices and packaging, photonic devices and materials, optical sensor technology and specialty fibers, and economic considerations. Information sources used in the study include a literature review; visits to 42 relevant sites in the United States and Japan; and a review of the draft report by panelists, site visit hosts, and study sponsors. The panel found that Japan clearly leads in consumer optoelectronics, both countries are competitive in communications and networks, and the United States holds a clear lead in custom optoelectronics. Japan's lead in high-volume consumer optoelectronics and related technologies gives it a dominant share of the overall global optoelectronics market. There may be opportunities for the U.S. optoelectronics industry in optical sensor technology and storage. U.S. government funding for optoelectronics appears to far outstrip comparable government funding in Japan. However, the panel concluded that the Japanese in general have a much clearer understanding of the crucial role that optoelectronics technology plays in the development of future electronic and communication systems.

Published: February 1996; WTEC Hyper-Librarian