Policy Support Urged for Photoelectron Industry
China should further develop a photoelectron industry, in order to enhance its overall economic, national defense, scientific and technological strength, according to Xu Zhiyi, member of the National Committee of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference who put forward proposals in this regard at this year’s CPPCC session in March.

Along with other new high-tech industries in the country, the photoelectron sector is narrowing the gap with the international standard and is now enjoying many opportunities to become a strategic industry in 21st century, he noted.

Photoelectron technology has been developed rapidly for more than ten years after emerging to replace the existing micro electron technology. It has been listed as essential technology in the United States, European Union, Japan, Korea and Taiwan.

The information industry stands out as one of the notable landmarks in the progress of modern science, and photoelectron technology will continue to impel the revolution of science and technology to help it become the strategic industry of the 21st century, Xu noted.

The photoelectron industry is comprised of different aspects related to information, energy, finance, military affairs, software and networks. The technology has strong superiority and broader scope the existing micro electron technology is unable to have.

Along with the rapid growth of information business in the world, the optical fiber communication network has been under construction on a large scale. Optical fiber now provides 85 percent of communication services in the world.

The photoelectron technology in China has moved close to the level of developed countries. In the past 10 years, research has made rapid progress in the country, with some sections at the world leading level.

The photoelectron industry in the country has seized more market shares in terms of components and sub-systems, such as laser, detectors, light receiving and dispatch module. Initially, it has the ability to compete with overseas counterparts. Many products in the industry also have fabulous sales volume in the international market, and challenge the monopoly status of overseas products.

The Erbium Doped Fiber Amplifier (EDFA), an essential part of optical fiber communication systems with high velocity and large capacity, has a 40 percent domestic market share. The 1.55nmcPfb laser has completed shut foreign imports out of the market.

Components are very important in photoelectron industry, but only account for a small proportion in the entire photoelectron system. The development of scientific research has mainly focused on small batch production, and does not yet have a substantive breakthrough.

The industry has developed quickly in Hubei, Changchun, Shanghai and Beijing, and many other areas in the country have proposed the construction of an "Optics Valley of China". This, however, could lead to duplication, so the country needs to draw up a development strategy as soon as possible to help the sector achieve healthy, fast development, according to Xu.

It is reported that photoelectron industry is a new high-tech industry in the world. China has contributed much to this new area under the advanced education in science, such as physics and chemistry, attracting many talents and providing a solid foundation.

Through the introduction of technology, talents and investment, China should encourage specialists to realize the transformation of their scientific achievements and break trade boundary.

Currently, he said, the key to the healthy development lies in government policy support in terms of funding and creating a pool of specialists so that the industry can compete with its international counterparts.

(www.china.org.cn 03/20/2001)