What is the Market for 100 GigE and Other Next-Generation Networks?

With the recent endorsement of 100 Gbps Ethernet by an IEEE Study Group, new opportunities for modules and component firms are about to appear. CIR, an industry analysis firm based here, released of a new report titled "Beyond 10 & 40 Gbps; Next Generation Ethernet and Sonet/SDH."

The report examines the evolution of networking beyond 10 Gbps and 40 Gbps speeds and shows where the next big wave of high-speed network commercialization will hit. Additional details about the report including a summary and outline can be found on the firm's website.

CIR claims that development efforts geared towards moving beyond current line rates will impact the networking value chain much sooner than expected and in a number of different ways.

* Optical integration to revive. While optical integration rose and fell with the boom and bust of optical networking, it now seems essential to creating the cost-effective very high-speed transceivers required for networks operating at above 40 Gbps. Firms such as Apogee and Infinera are already building integrated optical components for next-generation networks and Intel seems likely to move in that direction as well. CIR expects to see exotic new chips emerge that combine the functionality of lasers and amplifiers, receivers and mux/demux, and/or even laser arrays integrated with an optical routing device.

* Beyond SFP+. These development efforts will also drive down the costs of available technologies. Renewed interest in optical integration coupled with the new technology of silicon photonics will lead to even smaller and lower cost 10 Gbps transceivers. Luxtera is already pioneering this approach. While there is currently considerable excitement in the industry about the XFP and SFP+ formats, these may not turn out to be the ultimate in 10 Gbps modules and these new technology directions could help 10 GigE become dominant in the server space.

* The MSAs circus never stops. CIR believes that the 100 GigE MSA process will be just as messy as the one for 10 GigE. Early 100 GigE MSAs may be derived from the XENPAK, IBPAK or 300-pin MSAs for 10 GigE but module manufacturers will soon be jockeying for market share with ever smaller MSAs and MSAs that are favored by the big equipment manufacturers, especially Cisco.

* The future of SONET/SDH? While the networking world is now moving towards 100 GigE, there is little currently underway to take SONET/SDH

standards beyond 40 Gbps. The future of public networking may now lie in the ITU's much touted OTN with SONET/SDH carried on a lambda. Or, it may lie in some carrier class version of next-generation Ethernet. Whatever the outcome, the adoption of a 100 Gbps Ethernet standard means that SONET/SDH and Ethernet are going their own way.

* Future proofing for network managers. As the standards for 100 GigE begin to emerge, network managers will face new questions on how to build their network infrastructure for the future. Should enterprise networks shift to OM3 or make a rapid transition to SMF in the enterprise? Does it make sense to buy from vendors who are further down the path to 100 GigE Ethernet? Will proprietary high-speed networking products prove useful and economical in the medium-term future?

CIR's new report, "Beyond 10 & 40 Gbps; Next Generation Ethernet and Sonet/SDH" includes an analysis of the opportunities and addressable markets for emerging markets for TDM, Ethernet and WDM networks operating at above 40 Gbps.

It covers both optical and electronic components including lasers, modulators, detectors, electronic and optical dispersion products, amplifiers, WDM components, MAC, PMD and PHY chips and many other areas.

The report also discusses the firms that are already making waves in this space and provides an assessment of the addressable market for these next-generation networks over the next decade.

Firms covered in this report include Apogee, Avago, Avanex, Bookham, Broadcom, Emcore, ExceLight, Finisar, Fujitsu, Infinera, Intel, JDSU, Hitachi Cable, Luxtera, MergeOptics, OCPI, NEC, Picolight, Opnext and Vitesse among others.


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