Introduction

Why a Book on Digital Optics?

When a new technology is integrated into consumer electronic devices and sold worldwide in supermarkets and consumer electronic stores, it is usually understood that this technology has then entered the realm of mainstream technology.

However, such progress does not come cheaply, and has a double-edge sword effect: first, it becomes widely available and thus massively developed in various applications, but then it also becomes a commodity, and thus there is tremendous pressure to minimize the production and integration costs while not sacrificing any aspects of performance.

The field of digital optics is about to enter such a stage, which is why this book provides a timely insight into this technology, for the following prospective groups of readers:

  • for the research world (academia, government agencies and R&D centers) to have a broad but condensed overview of the state of the art;
  • for foundries (optical design houses, optical foundries and final product integrators) to have a broad knowledge of the various design and production tools used today;
  • for prospective industries – ‘How can I use digital optics in my products to make them smaller, better and cheaper?’; and
  • for the mainstream public – ‘Where are they used, and how do they work?’

This book is articulated around four main topics:

  1. The state of the art and a classification of the different physical implementations of digital optics (ranging from waveguide optics to diffractive ...

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