Report: Active optical cabling market to reach $8.9B by 2022

Dec. 12, 2016
Much of this growth will come from a rush to install 100 Gbps links and the growth of hyperscale data centers, notes  Communications Industry Researchers (CIR).

In its new report, Markets for Active Optical Cables: 2017 - 2026, Communications Industry Researchers (CIR) claims revenues from AOCs will reach $8.9 billion by 2022, compared with $1.1 billion in 2017.

Much of this growth will come from a rush to install 100 Gbps links and the growth of hyperscale data centers, notes the technology analyst. CIR says it is also seeing important new opportunities emerge for AOCs in 25 GigE, digital signage and personal computing.

The report focuses on the changes occurring as western AOC suppliers merge and Chinese suppliers grow market share. It also discusses applications for AOCs in data centers (Ethernet, InfiniBand and storage networks); digital signage; consumer electronics/personal computing (USB, HDMI, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, PCIe, etc.); military networks; and campuses.

CIR believes that although there may be as many as 200 firms selling AOCs today, the market is dominated by firms including 3c-Link, 10Gtek, Amphenol, Broadcom, Finisar, Gigalight, Mellanox, Molex, Samtec, Siemon and TE Connectivity. All of these firms are profiled in this report.

The 110-page report provides granular ten-year AOC market forecasts in both volume and value terms. Breakouts include: transceiver type, MSA, data rate, cable length, fiber type, application and country of use. CIR has been providing coverage of AOC markets for a decade and these forecasts are based on a newly revised forecasting model.

Highlights of the report include the following points:

* 25 GigE AOCs represent an opportunity that did not exist when CIR produced its previous AOC report in 2015 -- revenues from such AOCs will exceed $500 million by 2022. AOC firms can make a compelling case for 25 GigE products based on 25 GigE's lower cost per bit and need for fewer switches than the today's ubiquitous 10 GigE. 25 GigE AOCs also offer a smoother path to 100 GigE.

* Digital signage AOCs are expectedc to reach $1.1 billion by 2022 as signage adopts UHD video. Meanwhile, data mining and other big data processes will expand digital signage to improve the customer experience, again driving up the need for bandwidth.

* Personal computing AOCs are expected to take off in 2017 as 40 Gbps Thunderbolt 3 products are deployed. For the first time ever PCs will network at the same high data rate used by uplinks in large data centers, but this connectivity will not extend far before fiber must be used. AOCs are a perfect fit for the Thunderbolt 3 environment because of their flexible, plug-and-play capability. The market for Thunderbolt AOCs will reach $600 million by 2022.

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