OCTOBER 12, 2007 -- ElectroniCast Consultants (search for ElectroniCast) has released a new five-year market forecast and analysis of the global market consumption and technology trends of optical modulators used in commercial fiber-optic communications. The forecast holds good news for the makers of electro-absorption (EA) and electro-optical (E-O) modulators.
"Long haul, multiple wavelengths (CWDM and DWDM), and high-data-rate links are the major market drivers for modulators. North America will take the lead in the deployment of 100-Gigabit Ethernet, which will add to the consumption of optical telecommunication modulators in the in the metro-core," stated Stephen Montgomery, director of the research project.
In its report, ElectroniCast provides a five-year forecast of the optical modulator market by technology segments: EA, E-O, and "other" modulator technology types. Also, based on customer optical transmission transfer rate requirements and the research and development (R&D) time allotted to each technology type, ElectroniCast has forecasted consumption trends by transmission speed. The data presented in this report details optical modulator use for 2.5, 10, and 40 Gbits/sec and "other" speeds.
"Numerous technology alternative solutions to modulator integration and standalone solutions continue to be developed. Along with the main multiple: economics. ElectroniCast summarizes that the engineering and technology advances will be developed; however, cost-effectiveness of the modulator function and a suitable package, meeting all specification and customer demands, are the key market dynamics," Montgomery said.
In 2006, E-O optical communication external modulators, typically utilizing lithium niobate as a base, held over a 30 percent market share of global consumption value. Modulators used in the higher-priced (ASP per unit) 40-Gbit/sec links will demonstrate dramatic growth, especially and initially in the lithium niobate segment. As the demand for bandwidth continues to increase, it will be necessary to deploy low-cost optical communication links that are closer to the end user than ever before; therefore, the EA market share will maintain the lead, in terms of and quantity volume/units with a consumption of over 1.8 million units forecasted in 2011, driven by the higher bandwidth requirements of integrated packages.