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Optical components

40G, 100G Demand Ramps Up

The market for 40- and 100-Gbit/s transceivers and transponders will grow to about $720 million by 2014, according to new figures from Infonetics Research Inc.

To be more precise, Infonetics analyst Andrew Schmitt is saying 40- and 100-Gbit/s modules will make up roughly half of the combined 10-, 40-, and 100-Gbit/s pool of $1.44 billion. It's one of the findings in his recent report, "10G/40G/100G Optical Transceivers Market Size and Forecasts."

Of course, 100-Gbit/s modules aren't on the commercial market yet, but carriers are anxious to get their hands on them. "Our conversations with service providers and enterprises indicate they have a strong preference for 100G technology provided it is at the right price," Schmitt says in a prepared statement.

In December, Schmitt had published a note saying that 40 percent of service providers polled would be willing to use 100-Gbit/s connections once the price got to twice that of 40 Gbit/s -- a bit sooner than would normally be expected. (See 100G Standards Aim for Lower Costs.)

The 40-Gbit/s market, meanwhile, had an interesting year in 2009. Sales of long-reach 40-Gbit/s interfaces grew 52 percent to $114.6 million. But sales of short-reach interfaces fell 35 percent, partly due to demand weakness and partly due to falling prices.

On the 10-Gbit/s front, Schmitt sees the market being driven by SFP+ and tunable XFP modules. The latter has particularly good growth prospects: The tunability is important, as networks continue to include more reconfigurable optical add/drop multiplexers (ROADMs); and the "XFP" part is important, because it's a cheaper and smaller option than the standard 300-pin module.

— Craig Matsumoto, West Coast Editor, Light Reading

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