U.S. optical-switching components and subsystems market to reach $1.1 billion by 2005

July 1, 2001

Anew report from Communications Industry Researchers (CIR-Charlottesville, VA) claims that new developments in optical-switching technology will create a $1.1-billion U.S. market opportunity by 2005. However, the new CIR report cautions that many challenges need to be addressed.

CIR believes that, despite the onslaught from new technologies, the U.S. market for optomechanical switching subsystems will grow, albeit slowly, from $63 million today to $77 million in 2004.

CIR warns that some mechanically oriented vendors appear too complacent about the threat from new technologies. CIR predicts a much bigger opportunity for micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS)-based switches, and sees the U.S. market growing from $43 million today to almost $600 million by 2005. CIR believes that MEMS is the most important enabler of optical switching to come along in many years, but also points out that MEMS will not conquer all applications.

For example, CIR predicts that the U.S. market for "solid-state" optical-switching components and subsystems will grow from $18 million today to $202 million in 2005. But it cautions that these new all-optical-switching products have very low port counts and most are not shipping yet. At present these switches are most useful in protection switching systems, where their fast switching speeds are of considerable benefit.

According to the new CIR report, the area in which solid-state optical switching has truly made progress in the past year is the recognition that it is possible to build such switches using silicon. That opens up the way to build optical switches using conventional microelectronic manufacturing processes, leads to higher yields, and makes it easier to create optical integrated circuits.

For more information or to purchase the report, "Optical Switching Subsystems and Components: Markets and Trends," call 804-984-0245 ext. 15 or visit CIR's Website at www.cir-inc.com.

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