Is the Market for Embedded Optical Modules (EOMs) Taking off in 2015?

LightCounting releases research note with an update on the EOM market.

-Coming Soon

When LightCounting published our most recent in-depth report on Embedded Optical Modules (EOMs), we chronicled a long and lumpy sales history for EOMs and provided the rationale for future opportunity in this market space. Is the wait over? Let’s look at what has been happening in recent months.

Avago announced at OFC 2015 that they had already shipped one million 25G VCSEL channels. Why is this news for EOMs? While Avago is deliberately vague about where all these channels went, we know most did not go into short reach 100G-SR4 modules. We also know Avago and Finisar are suppliers to the next-generation Fujitsu supercomputer. Eight 12x25G EOMs support a Fujitsu CPU/memory board in the prototype below. That’s 96 channels per board. It would take at least 10,000 boards to consume one million VCSELs.

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The world of supercomputers is ever changing. The era of the IBM Blue Gene machines is over, along with their heavy usage of dense EOM-based interconnects. The next-generation Fujitsu supercomputer will use EOMs, but most of the Top500 are cluster machines using active optical cables or copper interconnects. While the top machine, the Tianhe-2 supercomputer, uses “custom interconnects”, they are really closely related to InfiniBand and use QSFP+ cabling.

Much less clear is what Intel is up to in supercomputing. They recently received a direct contract award for the Aurora supercomputer to be the world’s most powerful at Argonne National Laboratory. While Intel has hired Cray to build the machine, it represents an interesting shift in the landscape. Intel has made a series of acquisitions over several years to potentially become an HPC systems company. They have announced Omni Path, which brings the fabric processor into the next gen Xeon Phi called Knight’s Landing. Will they be using Silicon Photonics or VCSELs for connectivity?

The rest of this story is available as a research note to LightCounting subscribers. Please contact if you are interested in purchasing a subscription to our reports.

For 2015, LightCounting will be combining the Intra-system Optical Interconnect/EOM report with the AOC report now scheduled for November. We will be collecting additional survey data and refreshing the detailed sales forecast at that time.

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: or follow us on Twitter at @LightCounting.