AUGUST 23, 2007 -- The move to higher data rates is transforming dispersion compensation technology from a niche market to a substantial business, according to a new report from industry analyst firm CIR (search for CIR). The report predicts worldwide sales of dispersion products will reach $755 million by 2012.
The report states that tunable dispersion compensation is finding acceptance. Tunable "set and forget" dynamic compensation technologies using fiber Bragg gratings, etalons, and other technologies are providing a more flexible alternative to fixed dispersion compensation modules (DCMs), CIR says. They are finding favor with carriers because they can address PMD variations during transmission and are seen as essential to future long-haul and metro deployments of OC-768 (40-Gbit/sec) technology. The market for tunable dispersion compensation products is expected to reach $245 million by 2012.
That said, dispersion compensating fiber (DCF) and dispersion compensation modules (DCMs) will still dominate the market, CIR believes. Despite the rise of tunable compensators, no carriers will abandon DCMs, which are widely viewed as complementary to tunable products. CIR reports that traditional DCMs continue to be a subject of intense research with new technologies such as photonic crystal fibers being considered to improve their performance. Revenues of $260 million are expected from DCMs in 2012.
Transceivers for the 10GBase-LRM PMD are creating a market for electronic dispersion compensation (EDC). The IEEE's new LRM standard uses EDC to carry 10-Gigabit Ethernet traffic over legacy fiber. CIR believes that LRM will ultimately generate demand for millions of EDC chips every year and notes that it is opening up the dispersion compensation market to an entirely new group of players -- the chip makers. EDC chips for LRM are expected to generate $240 million in revenues by 2012.
CIR says its new report analyzes and quantifies all of the key market opportunities for dispersion compensation products. It covers fixed and tunable optical products as well as EDC products and analyzes the role that these technologies will play in SONET/SDH, WDM, and Ethernet networks. The role of new technologies is discussed and detailed volume and value forecasts are provided by technology and data rate. The report also discusses the activities of the leading players in the worldwide dispersion compensation market.