ElectroniCast forecasts growth for dispersion-compensating modules

The global market for chromatic dispersion compensators is changing. In 2013, filter-based dispersion compensation modules will capture the market share lead over fiber-based components for the first-time ever, according to the latest report from ElectroniCast Consultants.

Jun 25th, 2013

The global market for chromatic dispersion compensators is changing. In 2013, filter-based dispersion compensation modules will capture the market share lead over fiber-based components for the first-time ever, according to the latest report from ElectroniCast Consultants.

Despite the growing popularity of coherent transmission technology -- which supposedly obviates the need for dispersion compensation -- ElectroniCast foresees a continuing need for dispersion compensators. Chromatic dispersion (CD) is an inherent property of silica optical fiber, which must be canceled for effective optical fiber communication. There are three common non-coherent device techniques to deal with chromatic dispersion in optical networks that ElectroniCast studied: dispersion-compensating fiber (DCF), dispersion-compensating filter modules, such as fiber Bragg gratings (FBG) or etalon-based device; and chip-based devices, including electronic dispersion compensation (EDC) and photonic integrated circuits (PICs) or optical chip dispersion compensators (ODCs).

The American region, with its fair share of new higher data rate and WDM-based optical link deployment, led in filter-based DCM consumption in 2012; however, the use of filter-based DCMs in the Asia Pacific region (APAC) is expected to see much faster growth and will eventually take over the lead in relative market share. The EMEA region is also forecast to grow faster than the American region.

Packaged filter devices (modules) typically comprise fiber Bragg gratings (FBGs) or etalon-based elements. Both fixed and tunable dispersion compensation modules (DCMs) were considered in the study. According to ElectroniCast, there is a substantial difference in average selling prices between fixed- and tunable-type DCMs. The tunable DCMs tend to increase in channel capacity and capability as demand increases; therefore, the average selling prices for the tunable DCMs are expected to increase periodically.

“Last year (2012), dispersion compensating fiber modules represented 49% of the relative global market share. In 2013, chromatic dispersion-compensating filter modules are positioned to capture the leadership role in relative market share for the first-time, as the need for tunable (variable) and dynamic/integrated devices drive to market,” said Stephen Montgomery, director of the fiber optics component group at ElectroniCast.

“Also, it is important to note that EDC can be used in conjunction with photonic-based solutions. EDC and photonic or optical integrated circuits/chips are forecast for rapid market growth in certain applications,” Montgomery added. According to the study results, chip-based devices have a relatively low target unit/price; however, the chip-based market share is forecast to increase substantially by 2017.

This report presents the consultant firm’s 2012-2017 market review and forecast of the consumption (value, quantity and average prices) of filter-based chromatic dispersion compensation modules in optical communication networking; it also provides forecast data of the worldwide consumption value of EDC chips and DCF modules.

For more information on optical dispersion compensators and suppliers, visit the Lightwave Buyers Guide.

More in Market Research