In a sign of the growing popularity of 100 Gigabit Ethernet (100GbE) optical transceivers in data center networks, Source Photonics says that its production capacity for 100G QSFP28 LR4 transceivers topped 10,000 units per month in December 2016.
The optical module vendor said it began shipping its 100G QSFP28 LR4 in 2015. Thanks to demand for the optical transceiver, Source Photonics says that it has invested more than $30 million in both captive indium-phosphide (InP) chip fab expansion and a captive optical subassembly (OSA) facility with high precision die attach and alignment capabilities. As a result, production capacity has ramped from 1,000 modules to more than 10,000 modules in just 12 months.
"The market for 100G QSFP28 optical modules has grown rapidly, largely driven by the shift to cloud services," said Simon Stanley, analyst at large, Heavy Reading and founder and principal consultant, Earlswood Marketing, via a Source Photonics press release. "The market is becoming supply limited and the capacity expansion at Source Photonics will make a significant contribution to meeting the market demand."
LightCounting recently estimated that 100GbE sales exceeded $1.1 billion in 2016, with QSFP28 optical modules taking the lion's share (see "100 Gigabit Ethernet optical transceiver sales topped $1B in 2016: LightCounting"). Source reports that demand for 100GbE QSFP28 modules is particularly strong in North America, while 40-Gbps modules remain in demand among Asian customers.
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