40-Gig Pumps Up

12:40 PM -- I keep hearing the 40-Gbit/s market isn't suffering as much as you'd think. It might be a sign of hope for telecom -- parts of it, anyway -- in 2009.

The reason is what you'd expect: Bandwidth growth is pushing carriers to continue adding to the network.

"I'm talking to a multitude of people in the industry who say 40-Gbit/s has to go forward because they're facing these constraints," says analyst Edward Zabitsky of Active Communications Integration.

Sierra Monolithics Inc. , one of the few suppliers of 40-Gbit/s SerDes chips, says the same kind of thing, although there's a bit of self-interest there. (See Sierra Strikes Forth for 100G.)

Whether that helps cushion the optical networking industry in general is yet to be seen. I'm still thinking that bandwidth growth will not force the carrier upgrades the industry is hoping for, because the longer the recession stretches on, the more that carriers will sacrifice network performance for the sake of the quarterly bottom line. (See 2009: Brace for Impact.) I'd be happy to be proven wrong, and the 40-Gbit/s evidence seems to be pointing that way.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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