Light Reading

100G Components Step Up to the Mark

Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes
Heavy Lifting Analyst Notes

The latest developments of 100Gbit/s components are enabling the start of mainstream 100G deployments. The increased performance and expected per-GB cost reductions will drive 100G ahead of 40G for all but the most cost-sensitive applications. Deployments of 100G links will grow significantly through 2012/13, driven by the combination of user demand and greater availability.

These are just some of the many key findings in the latest issue of Heavy Reading Components Insider, "100G Components User Survey: Market Outlook for 2012," based on an exclusive worldwide survey that drew responses from 89 professionals representing more than 50 different equipment vendors and system manufacturers. The report covers the use of physical layer devices and 40G and 100G optical modules, providing unique insight into the state of the market. The report includes vendor rankings based on respondent usage and rating, and ranks the features that are most important to respondents when selecting new optical modules.

Going into 2012, system vendors are seeing healthy demand for 100G on long-haul line-side interfaces and shorter-distance client-side interfaces. Long-haul 100G solutions using 25G optics and coherent receivers are delivering significant performance gains over 40G. Client-side solutions using 10G VCSEL optics are delivering cost-effective 100G for data center and enterprise applications. Next-generation solutions in development with 25G will offer similar cost benefits and greater port density.

The result of the survey shows growing support for 100G ports, with more than 50 percent already shipping 100G or planning to do so within one year. The leading applications for 100G are long-haul DWDM systems, Metro Ethernet equipment, core routers and other DWDM systems.

Optical transport network (OTN) is supported by long-haul links; InfiniBand is supported by some links in the data center; and Ethernet is the most widely supported interface. There is some significant debate in the industry about the merits of the IEEE 100Gbase-LR4 and 100Gbase-ER4 interfaces using four 25G optics for medium distance and the alternative 10x10G solution promoted through the 10x10 MSA group. This is reflected in the results of the survey.

Physical layer devices are critical components for both 100G line cards and 100G optical modules. At 10G, all the telecom equipment manufacturers are using merchant semiconductors and optical modules. At 100G, there is a clear split for long haul, with several system manufacturers developing their own coherent receiver solutions and others relying on components from MultiPhy , Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) and others. Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM), NetLogic Inc. , PMC-Sierra Inc. (Nasdaq: PMCS) and Vitesse Semiconductor Corp. (Nasdaq: VTSS) all score well in the 40G/100G physical layer vendor rankings and usage results. Other physical layer vendors include Applied Micro Circuits Corp. (Nasdaq: AMCC), Cortina Systems Inc. , Marvell Technology Group Ltd. (Nasdaq: MRVL) and Semtech Corp. (Nasdaq: SMTC).

There are more than six 100G optical module types available or in development. CXP, CFP and 10x10 MSA modules are already available. QSFP2, CFP2 and CFP4 are in development. Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR) scored particularly well in the 40G/100G optical module vendor rankings and usage results. Other leading optical module vendors are JDSU (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU), Opnext Inc. (Nasdaq: OPXT), Avago Technologies Pte. , Cisco (CoreOptics Inc. ) and Fujitsu Ltd. (Tokyo: 6702; London: FUJ; OTC: FJTSY).

Telecom equipment manufacturers, physical layer device vendors and optical module manufacturers will be ramping 100G volume production through 2012. This will support strong growth of 100G links for both client-side and line-side systems. To meet customer expectations on performance, density and cost the industry is continuing to develop solutions with companies focusing on 10x10G, cost-effective 25G optics, photonic integration and the shift of functions from the optical module to the physical layer devices on the line card.

— Simon Stanley, Analyst, Heavy Reading Components Insider

This report, 100G Components User Survey: Market Outlook for 2012, is available for $1,595. For more information, please visit:

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