Sales of telecom and datacom lasers will grow from around $1.0 billion this year to $2.9 billion in 2012, according to a new report just published by CIR, a market research firm based here.
According to CIR, the market growth spurt is due to several factors namely: optics is relentlessly pushing copper out of the network, 10 GigE is the first Ethernet that is predominantly optical, FTTx is bringing optics to the residential access network for the first time, optics is replacing cumbersome copper Infiniband connections and the transition from copper to fiber in storage networks is now all but complete. All of these trends create markets for lasers that have simply not existed before.
Other Key Points:
Tunable laser use to accelerate. Recent financing rounds for Santur and Syntune validate the tunable laser segment, a market that CIR expects to reach $870 million by 2012. The cost of tunable lasers is expected to decline as volumes ramp up and new cost effective designs based on DBR lasers and integrated modulators make their impact felt.
Silicon photonics could mean the death of multi-mode fiber (MMF). The first products of silicon photonics -- optically active cables aimed at the unwieldy Infiniband infrastructure -- will bring credibility to silicon photonics. Silicon photonics promises long-wavelength transceivers for the same cost as 850 nm optics. Indeed, CIR believes that silicon photonics could be the single most important technology and could gradually push short-wave optics and MMF into niche oblivion.
Parallelism, the way of the future. Parallelism may be the optics of the future. It will dominate short-reach computing center interconnects and eventually LX4 type transponders for 100 GigE markets. Several firms are now implementing large array type products including Avago, IBM, Infinera and Luxtera. CIR's report suggests that by as early as 2012 more than 3.4 million lasers will be used to support connections at 100 Gbps and over, with most of this bandwidth being supplied through parallel schemes.
CIR's new report analyzes and quantifies all of the key market opportunities for telecom and datacom laser products. It covers both tunable and fixed lasers including VCSELs, DFBs, FCs and ECLs and focuses especially on showing how integrated optics and silicon photonics are on the verge of creating major new revenue streams for laser makers.
Companies mentioned in the report include Aeluros, AFOP, AOC Technologies, Avago, Avanex, BinOptics, Bookham, Broadcom, ColorChip, CyOptics, Delta Electronics, Eblana, Emcore, Enablence, Fiberxon, Finisar, Fujitsu, Harmonic, IBM, Ignis, Infinera, Intel, JDSU, Kotura, LightComm, Lightron, LuminentOIC, Luxtera, MergeOptics, NEC, Neophotonics, Novera, NTT, Opnext, Pirelli, Optoway, Optronics, Santur, Sigma-Links, Sumitomo/Excelight, Syntune, Titan Photonics, Tyco Electronics, Vitesse Semiconductor and Zarlink.