Success of Silicon Photonics Accelerates Progress Across a Wide Range of Optical Component Technologies


LightCounting shares notes from ECOC 2016


ECOC is one of the most productive industry events. The compact size of the exhibition creates a perfect setting for casual, unplanned meetings, which often are the most informative. The size of ECOC also reminds all of us how small our industry still is.

The market is on the upswing again and the presence of financial analysts was noticeable at the show. Supplier valuations are back in the billions of dollars, including new publicly traded companies like Acacia and Eoptolink. Access to financial markets opens more opportunities, but it should not be taken for granted. We have seen in the past how volatile financial markets are and how fast the priorities of the bankers drift away from optics.

Setting up realistic expectations for market growth is very hard when the industry is booming, but it is very important for all of us. This will also help to establish credibility with the financial community and ensure a longer lasting interest from the bankers.

LightCounting has been on the mission of sharing reliable market data and charting the industry’s future for the last 12 years. We continued to do so at ECOC Market Focus sessions with presentations on Silicon Photonics (SiP) an Optical Access markets. These presentations are available on request (

SiP remains on top of the industry agenda and suppliers continue to make progress. Luxtera announced shipment of one million units of SiP-based products ahead of the event, but keep in mind that Luxtera has been shipping these products for more than 5 years now. Intel announced first volume shipments of their 100GbE PSM4 modules and had a live demo of the industry’s first SiP-based CWDM4 product at the show.

Rapid progress in the performance of GaAs and InP based products, partly stimulated by the challenge of SiP, was also evident at ECOC. A new 4WDM MSA ( was introduced at the event, proposing to extend the reach of InP-based 100GbE CWDM4 products up to 10km, 20 km and 40km. Finisar and Lumentum announced interoperability of SWDM transceivers, which multiplex four GaAs VCSELs to enable 100GbE connectivity over a single multimode fiber. Finisar also introduced an extended reach 100GbE eSR4 module with a reach of 200 meters, closing the gap with PSM4 technology.

Continuing progress on 100G PAM4 components presented at ECOC is targeting the industry transition to 400GbE. Oclaro demonstrated 400G CFP8 10km reach module at ECOC, but mega-datacenters are looking for more compact 400G devices. Forecast for transitions from 100GbE to 200GbE and 400GbE products was just released by LightCounting along with our High-speed Datacenter Optical Interconnects Report.

Telecom equipment vendors are also getting ready to deploy 400G DWDM ports as products with 200G DWDM optics started shipping last year. Our forecast for 200G and 400G DWDM ports will be released with the Market Forecast Report in late October 2016.

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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.