Is Silicon Photonics a disruptive technology?
LightCounting releases a new report on Market Opportunities for Optical Integration Technologies
Many in the industry have predicted that Silicon Photonics (SiP) will enable inexpensive, mass produced optical connectivity, radically changing the optical components and modules industry. Our analysis suggests this will not happen in the next 5 years, but sales of SiP-based optical products may reach $1 billion by 2020, accounting for about 10% of the market.
As often happens with new technologies, product sales are starting to ramp up just as industry expectations start to fade, as illustrated in Figure 1 below.
Figure 1: Typical trend for cross-correlation between industry expectation for new technologies and product sales.
It seems clear that several SiP suppliers demonstrated that this technology works. However, it is up to the manufacturing engineers and business managers of these suppliers to show that SiP products can be made in high volume at a competitive cost and generate profits to fund development of next generation products.
Competition from more established InP and GaAs technologies will be fierce in 2016-2021. There is not a single SiP-based product on the market that does not have an alternative made using InP and GaAs optics. However, if SiP-based products can weather the fierce competition from more established technologies and gain a beach-head in this market by 2020, it may disrupt the market over the next decade. Such a disruption will require development of wafer-scale optical manufacturing, packaging and testing technologies, compatible with 3D wafer stacking for integration with electronics.
Forecasting technological disruptions is probably just as hard as predicting earthquakes. Being prepared seems to be the only practical strategy. Even a distant possibility of a disruption has justified investment into SiP technology by Cisco, which was then followed by many other equipment suppliers. Optical integration start-ups continue to raise funding and all established suppliers of components and modules have SiP technology on their roadmap. The chances for success in these efforts are still low and distant, but no vendor can afford to ignore the possibility of a disruption.
A new report released by LightCounting offers an analysis of the impact made by integration on the market for optical transceivers and related components in 2010-2015. It offers a forecast for shipments and sales of discrete and integrated products based on InP, GaAs and SiP technologies for 2016-2021. The forecast is segmented by primary applications, including Ethernet, WDM, AOC-EOM and a few others. Products are sorted by data rate, reach and form factor into more than 100 categories.
For more information on the report, please go to http://www.LightCounting.com/Silicon.cfm
RECENTLY PUBLISHED REPORTS:
- High-speed Datacenter Interconnects, June 2015
- Next-Generation FTTX Optics, July 2015
- Optical Communications Market Forecast, August 2015
- Quarterly Market Update Report, September 2015
- Mobile Fronthaul Optics Report & Forecast, November 2015
- Quarterly Market Update Report, December 2015
- Active Optical Cables and Embedded Optical Modulest, December 2015
- Market Opportunity for Optical Integration Technologies, including Silicon Photonics (January 2016)
- Market Update Report and Quarterly Sales Database (February 2016)
- Mega Data Center Optics (February 2016)
ABOUT LIGHTCOUNTING MARKET RESEARCH
LightCounting is a leading optical communications market research company, offering semiannual market updates, forecasts, and state-of-the-industry reports based on its analysis of primary research with dozens of leading module, component, and system vendors as well as service providers and other users. LightCounting is the optical communications market’s first choice source for the accurate, detailed, and relevant information necessary for doing business in today’s highly competitive environment. For more information, visit: www.LightCounting.com or follow us on Twitter at @LightCounting.