The similarities between the technologies at the heart of Intel’s Light Peak initiative and active optical cables should benefit the latter in the long run, Information Gatekeepers Inc. (IGI) predicts in its new Active Optical Cables Market Report 2010.
Intel’s Light Peak effort aims to create a 10-Gbps interconnect for consumer devices. IGI has added coverage of the program to the report for its importance in its own right, as well as its likely influence on the active optical cable market. With Intel’s backing Light Peak has a strong likelihood of eventual success in the general marketplace, IGI believes, especially with backing from Sony (Apple is also rumored to be interested). Because of the technological similarities between Intel’s work and those of active optical cable developers, Light Peak success in volume markets could easily have a significant effect on overall AOC cost structures due to greatly increased economies of scale, the market research firm asserts.
Meanwhile, the importance of optical I/O connections continues to grow, according to the report. In the past year, the industry has seen I/O cable bandwidth increase at the expense of copper cable length restrictions, with reductions in maximum allowable length for the latest forms of USB, HDMI, and DisplayPort. More high-performance computing (HPC) clients also report preference for optical InfiniBand cables above the 5-7 meter length, IGI says. With the thicker, bulkier copper cables now required to address bandwidth and power delivery issues receiving more scrutiny, the opportunity for active optical cables si becoming stronger. For example, some supercomputers have shifted from all copper to all active optical cables, the report reveals.
IGI says the Active Optical Cables Market Report 2010 continues its focus on several key application and bus interface segments that are expected to generate significant business over the next five years. The focus remains with the core cable OEMs as well as their underlying material suppliers (i.e., fiber-optic cable, VCSELs, optical detector/PIN diodes, and connectors) and customers.