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Forecast Update: Datacom Optical Components

  • Publication Date:January 2011
  • Publisher:Ovum
  • Product Type: Report
  • Pages:32

Forecast Update: Datacom Optical Components


The current forecast period is one of profound change. The transition to 10GbE from 1GbE brings architecture and protocol changes as well as increased speed. Fibre Channel will be affected by converged networking. InfiniBand and proprietary interconnect are hitching themselves to the technology bandwagon for 40 and 100G Ethernet, but they are also steering optical technology in new directions.

Features and Benefits

  • Connect the dots between high-level IT buzzwords like "converged networking" and "flat architecture" and their meaning in the optical modules market.
  • Find out how far along the transition to 10GbE is based on system and component data, and what the implications are for 40G and 100G.
  • Learn where optics provides value in high-performance computing, system interconnect, and consumer electronics.


Datacom optics at the module level will exceed $1.7bn by 2015, growing at a six-year CAGR (2009-15) of 13%. Merchant discrete components that go into the modules will add an additional amount in excess of $140m, growing at a similar rate.A strong recovery in late 2009 has been followed by flattening in 2010. However, the sedate big picture masks furious product substitution churn. It also masks differences between data centers, enterprise LAN, small and medium business datacom, and high-perfomance computing.For optics, the changes in datacenter and high-performance computing drive the forecast growth. Late 2011 through early 2013 will be a critical period as we watch what happens with adoption of 10 GbE for LAN-on-motherboard in servers with switches following suit.

Your key questions answered

  • How quickly is 10GbE substituting for 1GbE? Will 10GBase-T hurt or help optical 10GbE modules?
  • How will converged networking affect the Fibre Channel market?
  • What are active optical cables and optical engines, and where do they play?
  • What are new drivers and directions for optical modules and interconnect technology?
  • Summary
    • In a nutshell
    • Ovum view
    • Key messages
  • Forecast Summary
    • Global datacom optics revenues will surpass $1.7bn in 2015 RESULTS FOR 3Q10
    • Short-reach portion of OC revenues, driven by early enterprise recovery, up 15% sequentially in 3Q10
    • Ethernet switch port shipments flat in 2Q10 and 3Q10 due to decline in FastE; GbE and above continue to grow
    • Storage revenues back to historical growth and seasonality
  • Long-Range Market Forecast Drivers And Barriers
    • Network is the bottleneck; data centers pull technology advances
  • Product Group Forecasts
    • Ethernet transceivers
      • Multiple drivers for 10GbE beyond bandwidth
      • Multiple versions of copper 10GbE will persist
      • 10GBase-T will mount a renewed attack on the under 100m market next year with LANon-motherboard
    • 40GbE and 100GbE options abound
    • Virtualization and cloud trends bring WAN into datacom
    • Fibre Channel
      • Storage vendors have joined the converged network bandwagon
      • Majority of Fibre Channel (FC) optics at risk even if FC functionality remains
      • FC transitioned to 8Gbps in 2010
      • Transition to 16x FC expected to begin next year
    • InfiniBand
      • Speed roadmap back on pace through FDR, but uncertain timing for EDR
      • Active optical cables take an increasing share of IB market; IB is dominant AOC application
    • Parallel interconnect
      • Optical backplane benefits go beyond extending distance
      • Optical interconnect aims to tackle volume consumer electronics
    • Discrete components used in datacom modules
  • Market Scenarios And Warning Signs
    • Many changes are hitting the datacom market at the same time
  • Appendix
    • Methodology
    • Further reading
    • Author
    • Ovum Consulting
    • Disclaimer
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