Decade of Light

From the lasers that make it to the fibers that carry it-the hardware of light is booming. According to the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA), which tracks component sales, growth in flat-panel displays will continue to top all segments as they begin to replace cathode-ray tube monitors on desktops. Sales of light sources, such as lasers and light-emitting diodes,will be driven by increasing use of optical disks for data storage, as well as fast-growing fiberoptic telecommunications networks. By 2002, OIDA predicts, the industry will be selling some 80 million kilometers of optical fiber per year.

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From the latest smartphones to advances in quantum computing, the hardware behind today's digital age is rapidly changing.

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