Three ques­ti­ons to …

… Dr.-Ing. Gun­ther Voll­rath CEO / Vor­stands­vor­sit­zen­der Aifo­tec AG

1. Aifo­tec is a deve­lo­p­ment and pro­duc­tion ser­vice pro­vi­der. What do you have to think of and in which are­as are the deve­lo­p­ment prio­ri­ties?

In the elec­tro­nics indus­try, the EMS (Elec­tro­nic Manu­fac­tu­ring Ser­vice) busi­ness model is a typi­cal busi­ness model. Elec­tro­nic chips are desi­gned in design houses, manu­fac­tu­red in exter­nal fac­to­ries and the final assem­bly is also car­ri­ed out extern­al­ly (most­ly in Chi­na). A typi­cal examp­le of this busi­ness model is Apple.

In pho­to­nics, this busi­ness model is still rela­tively new, as pho­to­nic tech­no­lo­gy is about 30 years behind elec­tro­nic tech­no­lo­gy. So far, the­re are some play­ers on the mar­ket (most­ly in Thai­land), but the busi­ness model is still rela­tively young. Aifo­tec AG com­bi­nes the model of the PMS (Pho­to­nic Manu­fac­tu­ring Ser­vice) with PDS (Pho­to­nic Deve­lo­p­ment Ser­vice) and thus stands out from its com­pe­ti­tors.

Aifo­tec AG Clean­room with ful­ly auto­ma­tic adjus­t­ment sys­tems

 

2. Aifo­tec deve­lo­ps and pro­du­ces, among other things, the lidar sys­tem for auto­no­mous dri­ving in small seri­es. What is spe­cial about lidar and why will the sys­tem beco­me a key com­po­nent for auto­no­mous dri­ving?

Com­pa­red to came­ra-based sys­tems or radar or ultra­sound, a laser-based sys­tem has the advan­ta­ge of a three-dimen­sio­nal dis­play, high ran­ge and high reso­lu­ti­on. Even if various com­pon­ents will be used or are alrea­dy in use for future auto­no­mous dri­ving (e.g. ultra­sound for near-field sen­sors or came­ras, used for par­king aids) as well as radar sys­tems for auto­ma­tic distance con­trol, lidar is cer­tain­ly a core com­po­nent for auto­no­mous dri­ving.

3. Pho­to­nic tech­no­lo­gy has gre­at poten­ti­al in medi­cal tech­no­lo­gy, for examp­le, and pro­mi­ses a bet­ter qua­li­ty of life for dia­be­tics. What is behind this and when can the mar­ket launch be expec­ted?

The ent­i­re ran­ge of pho­to­nic tech­no­lo­gy is still in its infan­cy and new are­as of app­li­ca­ti­on are only just begin­ning to open up. While opti­cal data trans­mis­si­on (“fiber­op­tics”) is estab­lis­hed and is used, for examp­le, for remo­te trans­mis­si­on as well as wit­hin data cen­ters (“cloud com­pu­ting”, “big data”, Indus­try 4.0), com­ple­te­ly new are­as of app­li­ca­ti­on such as the auto­no­mous dri­ving or app­li­ca­ti­ons in medi­cal tech­no­lo­gy descri­bed abo­ve. An examp­le of this is the opti­cal mea­su­re­ment of blood sugar levels. A small chip is implan­ted under the skin, which trans­mits the blood sugar level to a smart­pho­ne via radio. A signi­fi­cant impro­ve­ment in the qua­li­ty of life for dia­be­tics. A mar­ket launch in the field of medi­cal tech­no­lo­gy is dif­fi­cult to pre­dict due to the requi­red appro­val pro­ce­du­res.

 

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