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Poll Points to All-Optical Future

Light Reading
News Analysis
Light Reading
10/17/2001

Some good and some bad news for developers of all-optical switches is coming out of Light Reading's research poll this month. The good news is that most folk expect a sizeable market for this type of equipment to develop within two years. The bad news is that a lot of startups developing all-optical switches won’t be around to enjoy it.

The survey asks respondents to cast their minds forward two years and say what the market for all-optical switches will look like by then.

All-optical switches route light from one fiber to the next without converting it into electrical signals. Vendors already shipping this type of equipment are still rare. The most prominent is Corvis Corp. (Nasdaq: CORV), but quite a large number of other equipment vendors are developing all-optical switches, often based on 2D MEMS (micro-electro-mechanical systems) modules from OMM Inc.

So far, close to 180 people have taken the Light Research poll. Of those, 66 percent think that more than one in ten new switches being installed in long-haul backbones will be all-optical in two years’ time. In fact, 22 percent think that more than half of new switches will be all-optical.

The corresponding figures for metro networks are surprisingly high. 52 percent think more than one in ten new switches will be all-optical, and 19 percent think that more than half will be.

2D MEMS is considered by poll respondents to be the most promising optical switching fabric. When asked which technology would be carrying live traffic in more than 100 networks in two years’ time, 49 percent cited 2D MEMS.

3D MEMS isn’t far behind, with 37 percent, which is surprising, considering that OMM and Onix Microsystems Inc. have mothballed development work on this technology, saying the market for it has receded by a couple of years (see OMM-inous News and Onix Follows in OMM's Footsteps).

The other popular switching fabric is the electro-optic waveguide, made in indium phosphide, gallium arsenide, or lithium niobate, which garnered votes from 31 percent of respondents.

This type of switching fabric has the advantage of being solid state -- no moving parts to stick or wear out, unlike MEMS. Vendors making switching subsystems based on this technology include Lynx Photonic Networks, Marconi PLC (Nasdaq/London: MONI), and NTT Electronics Corp. (NEL).

As noted, the bad news is that most respondents expect a massive shakeout of startups in this field. 40 percent think that more than a half will go bust in the next two years and 28 percent think more than three quarters will die.

To take the poll yourself, please go to the All-Optical Switch Research Poll

— Peter Heywood, Founding Editor, Light Reading
http://www.lightreading.com

More than 60 companies – including Corvis , OMM, and Marconi – will be showing their wares at Lightspeed Europe, Light Reading’s annual conference, being held in Earl’s Court, U.K., December 4-6, 2001. Check it out at Lightspeed Europe 2001.

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jimbo59
jimbo59
12/4/2012 | 7:42:33 PM
re: Poll Points to All-Optical Future
Peter, Peter, Peter,
You've really got to research more thoroughly. Twasn't but 8 short days ago that your fellow LR staffer Marguerite was writing about how unimpressive a win LU's multimillion dollar Japanese contract was for their LambdaRouter (read OXC), and you simply forget to make any mention whatsoever of LU as a vendor?!

http://www.lightreading.com/do...
aaaaaaptics
aaaaaaptics
12/4/2012 | 7:42:33 PM
re: Poll Points to All-Optical Future
LU's LR switch from what others have researched isn't all optical...
dietaryfiber
dietaryfiber
12/4/2012 | 7:42:32 PM
re: Poll Points to All-Optical Future

How is it that a "poll" is good news?

How about a large number of purchase orders from customers with actual cash?

dietary fiber
manoflalambda
manoflalambda
12/4/2012 | 7:42:31 PM
re: Poll Points to All-Optical Future
LU's LR switch from what others have researched isn't all optical...

By golly, he/she's right! under that MEMs chip that Dave Bishop is always holding, is a full OEO non-blocking switch which would make Tellium blush! :)

Seriously though, what research?... the core is transparent, the ports can be transparent or opaque (for 3R, PM features).

Salute,
Manoflalambda

ps The usual "no surprise" that the LambdaRouter wasn't mentioned in the article...
Peter Heywood
Peter Heywood
12/4/2012 | 7:42:31 PM
re: Poll Points to All-Optical Future
Jimbo, Jimbo, Jimbo..I wrote Corvis is the "most prominent" - not that it's the only one.

Also, I was aware that a lot of other so-called all-optical switches actually require some OEO stuff on the entrance and exit. I think that's what some of the other posters are getting at.
Peter Heywood
Peter Heywood
12/4/2012 | 7:42:30 PM
re: Poll Points to All-Optical Future
I'm surprised that folk are so optimistic, bearing in mind the sort of stories I've been writing of late. Eg:

http://www.lightreading.com/do...




poster
poster
12/4/2012 | 7:42:29 PM
re: Poll Points to All-Optical Future
I'm curious to know what people think about this company? Will they survive? Is their all-optical switch ahead of it's time? Any customer traction? Thanks.
light_crazy
light_crazy
12/4/2012 | 7:42:28 PM
re: Poll Points to All-Optical Future
What do u guys think of future of startups like ZettaCom, crosslayer etc which are maiking chips related to gigabit ethernet switches/routers for MAN, Enterprise markets ? Is there still any hope ??
rosebudd
rosebudd
12/4/2012 | 7:42:27 PM
re: Poll Points to All-Optical Future
dietary fiber wrote:
>How is it that a "poll" is good news?
>How about a large number of purchase
>orders from customers with actual cash?

Lightreading is working on another mastermind poll: When do you think the market will rebound? The good news: people think it will rebound in two months. So we should all buy in, after all that's we all did to help fuel the internet boom!
noitall
noitall
12/4/2012 | 7:42:27 PM
re: Poll Points to All-Optical Future
ceo is a psycho

no market for million dollar cross connects

product doesn't work

running out of money

d.o.a.
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