Datacom leads significant optical component revenue growth in 2021; Cignal AI

April 14, 2022
A transition by large cloud operators and some enterprise network operators toward 400-Gbps transmission helped spur this growth.

Cignal AI reports that total revenue for optical components, a category that includes optical transceivers, grew 15% in 2021. Components for datacom applications led the way, growing 27% to account for $4.7 billion of the total $14.5 billion component sales registered for the year within the datacom, telecom, industrial, and consumer markets, the market research firm states in its latest Optical Components Report.

A transition by large cloud operators and some enterprise network operators toward 400-Gbps transmission helped spur this growth. For example, 1.8 million QSFP-DD and OSFP datacom modules shipped during 2021, most of which were DR4 format. Meanwhile, more than 60,000 400G pluggable coherent modules shipped at the same time, with QSFP-DD ZR devices accounting for the majority.

“The transition to 400GbE is well underway, and pluggable coherent 400-Gbps technology is revolutionizing the design of the optical networks that connect data centers,” commented Scott Wilkinson, lead optical component analyst at Cignal AI. “400-Gbps speeds will drive spending and bandwidth growth both inside and outside the data center in 2022.”

Meanwhile, telecom components suffered the most growth-limiting effects from supply chain shortages during the year, Cignal AI reports. Nevertheless, shipments of 200G coherent CFP2 modules increased 17% to just over 200,000 units during 2021, thanks in large part to production ramps by Chinese OEMs for longer distance metro and long-haul applications. The market researchers expect telecom component revenues to increase by 8% this year.

Cignal AI publishes its Optical Components Report quarterly. The report covers revenue-based market share of company sales into four optical component markets – datacom, telecom, industrial, and consumer. The report also tracks detailed unit shipments of datacom and telecom components, including datacom transceivers used for short-reach applications and pluggable and embedded transceivers for telecom applications. Five-year forecasts are also provided for all segments.

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