Active optical cable sales to jump 30% this year says LightCounting

The active optical cable (AOC) market won’t match last year’s jaw dropping 65% growth, but it will continue to expand at a more than respectable 35% in 2013, according to a new report from market research firm LightCounting.

The active optical cable (AOC) market won’t match last year’s jaw dropping 65% growth, but it will continue to expand at a more than respectable 35% in 2013, according to a new report from market research firm LightCounting.

LightCounting expects AOC revenues this year to reach $150 million, making 2013 the third consecutive strong year for AOC sales, LightCounting says. Not surprisingly, the market has become crowded; LightCounting estimates 26 companies are active in the AOC market. Applications have expanded as well, moving from high-performance computers (HPC) to traditional data centers with support of multiple protocols.

Last year’s major jump rode on faster than expected adoption of 14G InfiniBand FDR AOCs. The InfiniBand market is the strongest AOC application; the segment has already moved on to 14G FDR QSFP+ fiber-optic cables. Traditional data centers, meanwhile, are sticking with 10G QSFP+ formats.

Other protocols, such as SAS, Fibre Channel, and PCI Express, remain potential markets as their data rates pass 10G, LightCounting adds.

Finally, video and consumer AOCs using Thunderbolt, HDMI, and USB protocols are gaining traction and attention from vendors. LightCounting admits to being surprised that Corning has entered the market. However, the sales potential of the optical version of Thunderbolt remains undetermined, admits LightCounting.

Data for the report on AOC sales came from such manufacturers as Avago, Emcore, FCI, Finisar, Sumitomo, and TE Connectivity.

For more information on fiber cable products and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyer’s Guide.

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