An widely used term for micro-optics, integrated optics or planar waveguide technology
Photonics is a term which is used more and more instead of planar waveguide or micro-optics by some people. It relates to application area's like materials research in epitaxial growth, quantum wells and quantum dots and technology research in platforms like silicon photonics or III-V or InP photonic integration. Application area's are in tele- and datacom, bio-sensing, structural sensing and much more. It is believed that by replacing electronics with photonic elements energy consumption can go down and performance will go up.
In Europe it is one of the Key Enabling Technologies (KET) as defined by the European Commission.