Optical integration hits mainstream

Daryl Inniss/Ovum
02 Oct 2012

Optical integration’s transition from a niche to a mainstream revenue generator was highlighted in my ECOC 2012 presentation.

Demand for optically integrated products can bring significant ecosystem changes, prompting companies developing silicon photonics to enter the transceiver market and enabling OEMs such as Cisco to manufacture proprietary solutions.

Developing these products requires new tools and deep pockets, but we are encouraged to find multiple low-cost fabless ecosystems emerging. We reported on OpSIS earlier this year and were introduced to Effect Photonics at ECOC.

Although these are early days, the success for optically integrated products and vitality of optical communications depends on supporting competition, innovation, and driving low cost.

Optical integration reaches the mainstream

Optical integration was a key ECOC 2012 theme featured in tutorials, workshops, technical presentations, and market focus. My presentation argued that optical integration is becoming a mainstream optical communication revenue generator, with the expectation that over 50% of the market will use integrated components by 2017, an increase from about 25% today.

Moreover, transmission products for the line and client side will join wavelength management in generating significant revenues from integrated optical products. Line conditioning, mainly amplifiers, is the only segment where less than 50% of the products are integrated.

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