Infinera Opens up to Silicon Photonics in Pursuit of a Broader Market



LightCounting’s notes from Infinera’s analyst day


Infinera unveiled a portfolio of new metro products at an analyst day in Santa Clara, CA on October 6th, 2015, unifying Transmode’s success in metro-access markets in Europe with Infinera’s global ambitions. The opening slogan of the event was “transforming the metro”, but by the end of the day it was clear that the metro market will be transforming Infinera as well. Infinera’s objective is to triple their total addressable market from $5B in long-haul DWDM to $15B in a broader optical networking space.

The 100G XTC Series products, unveiled at the event, target the metro market and provide a bridge to Transmode’s product portfolio, as illustrated in Figure 1. A live demo presented at the event showed a network composed of all these products controlled seamlessly by Infinera’s DNA management software. This is certainly an achievement, considering its engineering team had only 6 weeks since the deal was closed to accomplish the task.

Consolidation on the hardware side will certainly take longer and it will present an interesting case study for the optical components industry. XTC products are based on a scaled down version of the 500G photonic integrated circuit (PIC) used on Infinera’s long-haul equipment. The new 100G PIC is a one-fifth slice of the 500G solution in terms of output bandwidth, but it still includes about 150 optical functions on one chip - about 1/4 that of the 500G product. Infinera also plans to use Silicon (Si) photonics based 100G DWDM optics manufactured by Acacia that is used on Transmode’s products. It will be interesting to see both Indium Phosphide (InP) and Si photonics compete and/or complement each other within one product portfolio.

Figure 1: Integration of Transmode’s and Infinera’s products via a 100G link.

Source: Infinera

In a conversation with LightCounting, Infinera’s CEO Tom Fallon stated that the company is open to any new technology that helps Infinera’s customers, and Si photonics is one of them.

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The market opportunity for integrated optics, including Si photonics, will be the subject of Dr. Kozlov’s presentation at an OIDA workshop in Washington DC on November 3rd. LightCounting will also release a report on this topic in January 2016

Recently published reports:
  1. State of the Optical Communications Industry, May 2015
  2. High-speed Datacenter Interconnects, June 2015
  3. Next-Generation FTTX Optics, July 2015
  4. Optical Communications Market Forecast, August 2015
  5. Quarterly Market Update Report (September 2015)

Coming soon:
  1. Mobile Fronthaul Optics Report & Forecast, November 2015
  2. Active Optical Cables and Embedded Optical Modulest, December 2015
  3. Quarterly Market Update Report (December 2015)
  4. Market Opportunity for Optical Integration Technologies, including Silicon Photonics (January 2016)

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.