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3S PHOTONICS looks outside telecoms

05 Feb 2009

The company's new 1064 nm pump laser module is intended for industrial fibre-laser applications.

The introduction of the 3S PHOTONICS 1064 nm module signals the company's intentions to tap into the fibre laser market and extend its activities beyond its telecoms heartland.

"Moving into new business areas was one of the key goals we defined when creating 3S PHOTONICS in April 2007, along with renewing the product and technology portfolio," Yannick Bailly, vice president of marketing and product management, told optics.org. "The motivations are to mitigate the impact of telecom market cycles on our revenues and find other niche markets where we can expect to make higher margins. We can also leverage our technology further throughout the value chain by vertical integration."

The new 1064 CHP seed laser module has been built with fibre lasers in mind. "The fibre laser market is naturally attractive for 3S PHOTONICS because it is an emerging and innovative technology with real growth potential," commented Bailly. "We have relevant key technologies in-house, including GaAs-based 980 nm and 1060 nm pump lasers along with fibre Bragg grating technologies."

As a French-based company, 3S PHOTONICS also believes it is well-positioned to address the strong European market for fibre laser systems.

"This move has been scheduled since well before the appearance of the economic crisis, so the business climate played no real part in our decision," said Bailly. "The current climate reinforces our convictions about the need to diversify our activities. Everyone knows that the telecoms market is very sensitive to the financial environment due to the high levels of capital expenditure that are required."

In the medium- to long-term, non-telecoms markets could account for up to 20% of the company's markets, according to Bailly.

"It is still early in the process, but we are investigating a number of areas," he said. "These include defence markets, with current developments on high power low RIN DFB lasers for several uses, and the space sector supported by our expertise and historical involvement in the submarine market. Medical applications, with laser chips operating at 976, 10xx & 11xx nm for solid-state lasers as an alternative to gas lasers for ophthalmology, general surgery and other uses, is also of interest."

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