Study: Data centers still drive AOC 'niche' market; top alternative applications include digital signage

AOCs remain the best way for markets where knowledge of fiber optic communications is scarce to derive the benefits of optical networking, contends UK technology research firm Companies & Markets.

Oct 28th, 2011

Companies & Markets (UK) has released its new report, Active Optical Cabling Markets - 2011 and Beyond. According to a press statement, the firm's researchers believe that Active Optical Cables (AOCs) are still a niche market. "We believe that they will generate less than $60 million in 2011 and these revenues will largely come from sales into the data center (and especially the InfiniBand) market," said the firm.

Nonetheless, the firm believes that "AOCs remain the best way for markets where knowledge of fiber optic communications is scarce to derive the benefits of optical networking." The firm forecasts that, soon, other markets will pick up on how AOCs can help them shift towards fiber optics. Such alternative markets are expected include not only a broad range of data communications applications, but also digital signage and various consumer electronics applications.

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The firm estimates that within five years, the worldwide AOC market will have reached $1.9 billion. The report also analyzes recent industry shaping events such as Molex's acquisition of Luxtera's AOC business and Intel's transition from its predominantly optical Light Peak technology to its predominantly copper Thunderbolt technology.

The report also provides in-depth analysis of the strategies being deployed by major AOC firms and analyzes the trend towards AOCs being supplied by larger firms; a trend that the research expects will be helpful as AOCs begin to appear in mass markets. It also covers marketing issues faced by AOC (such as the importance of branding in this space) and the role that offshore manufacturing is likely to play.

The report also includes profiles of the leading AOC suppliers and eight-year forecasts. More information on the report can be found here.

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