Contributed by C. David Chaffee, Chaffee Fiber Optics
Not surprisingly, the main focus of the OFC Executive Summit at least this morning has been 40 gigs and 100 gigs. Finisar Chairman Jerry Rawls, who had some good one liners, congratulated all in attendance as being "survivors, we are all still alive and can look to 40 G and 100 G to move ahead."
As Ovum's Dana Cooperson pointed out, however, 40 G and 100 G are becoming two distinct markets and technologies. They are no longer lumped together just the next gen high-speed solutions. 40 G is becoming a reality now, while 100 G is still in its very early stages, said Dana.In fact 40 G represented a $500 million market in 2009 and is expected to double again this year. That's beginning to sound serious.
"We are starting to see 40 G take off," said Dana. "We are starting to see the prices get to the point where 40 G makes a lot of sense." She commended Nortel for "incredibly" shipping 100 G product in 2009, although it is still very early days for that space. "We are at the very, very early initial stages for 100 G."
The idea that major network carriers are holding off for 100 G seems to be lost in the rush of companies actually being able to get 40 G. In fact, Jerry says his company has not yet even begun making 100 G chipsets.
As we step up to the next level, a lot of 10 G is continuing to go in, although Dana said 2.5 Gbps is "starting to die off."
Google again seems to be ahead of the curve. "For us," said Google Senior Network Architect Bikash Koley, " the question is not 40G or 100G but how many 100 G streams you can run in a fiber."
Getting back to Rawls' first quote, its is nice for the fiber optics industry to once again have a market to look forward to, similar to when it looked forward to 10 Gbps back in the 1990s. "Prime time for 40 gig and 100 gig is still ahead of us" said Hans-Juergen Schmidtke at Nokia-Siemens Networks. Schmidtke believes network traffic will grow 100 fold in the next five to seven years.
So once the 40 gig market reaches maturity, how many successful 100 gig companies will follow? The concensus was three or four on Panel 2: Components and Subsystems for 40- and 100 Gbps." But those lucky enough to make it should do very well as the market will be huge, according to Sierra Monolithics CEO Javed Patel.
By the way, there is still strong sentiment for consolidation in the optical components space as voiced by Jerry Rawls and Mintera CEO Terry Unter even with all that has happened. However, Jerry doesn't see any companies going out of business as the result of the 100 G consolidation, noting for example that companies in Japan never do. He does expect a few guys in America to "lose their jobs."
But all in all the mood is good, upbeat. There is a lot to look forward to in accommodating burgeoning Internet growth especially as the major carriers wake from their recent cap ex slumber and the building blocks seem to be 40 G and 100 G for years to come.
2010-03 March, Fiber optics, Information technology, OFC/NFOEC