LightCounting analyzes opto technologies needed to meet upcoming bandwidth demands

MAY 8, 2009 -- The market research firm says advanced modulation for 40G-plus optical transmission speeds is the most important transponder development since DWDM.

MAY 8, 2009 -- Transceiver market research company LightCounting's (search Lightwave for LightCounting) first Technology Review Report examines the key trends driving optical transceiver use, led by growth in Internet traffic. The report also provides a review of the core technologies needed to meet the continual requirement for faster, lower-power, and more compact transceivers at all points in the network. These technologies include the increasing role of electronics alongside optics, photonic integration based on traditional and newer silicon photonics techniques, parallel optics, and advanced modulation schemes. The firm says advanced modulation for 40 Gbps and higher optical transmission speeds is "the single most important transponder development since the advent of dense wavelength division multiplexing" (DWDM).

The report also addresses manufacturing as a key differentiator for transceiver firms, especially as the economic downturn forces companies to compete on pricing as well as technical advances, and when barriers to entry in the transceiver industry remain low.

"A trying economic climate can now be added to the technology challenges facing the transceiver industry," says Roy Rubenstein, director of research at LightCounting. "But for those players that master the technology to meet the demand for smaller, faster, lower-power transceivers, and that make them efficiently, there is a real opportunity, especially when data traffic shows no sign of slowing."

LightCounting's findings include how electronics will play an increasingly important role within the optical industry and how the industry will remain cautious in its use of photonic integration, despite its growing prospects. The review also provides market driver analysis of high-speed optical transmission trends, next-generation optical access including WDM-PON, as well as datacom developments such as the battle between copper and optics, unified switch fabric, and the continuing rise of active optical cables. Additionally, the report includes assessment of optical transceiver product and transceiver form-factor trends as well as an analysis of the technology options driving transceiver development.

Operators, enterprise switch makers, telecom system vendors, transceiver vendors, and photonic integration specialist firms were all interviewed for the review.

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