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Downturn won't slow 40/100GbE takeoff

Posted: 25 Feb 2009 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:100GbE takeoff? 100Gbit connection? Ethernet?

The CIR market research group, which focuses on optical components and optical communications, believes the economic downturn will not delay early adopters of 40/100Gbit Ethernet as companies such as Google and Amazon already have a "desperate need" for 100Gbt connections.

CIR added that even though the economic situation is having an impact on carrier network upgrades, scaling carrier networks to 100Gbit/s will now only be accomplished using a 40/100Gbit/s variant.

In its latest report, CIR says the market for 40/00GbE transceivers will reach $ 482 million in revenues by 2013.

The researchers suggests just a handful of firms are likely to shape the future of 40/100Gbit Ethernet. These include Cisco, Juniper, Sun Microsystems, Force10, Nortel at the OEM level; JDSU, Finisar, Avago, Luxtera and Opnext at the transceiver level.

At the component level, the main players are likely to include Xilinx, Altera, IBM, LSI, Gennum, AMCC, Vitesse and Broadcom.

The adoption of 40Gbit Ethernet is predicted to start in high end servers and high performance computing applications. Within the 40GbE environment, initially as much as 80 percent of the market will be accounted for by the SR4 version of the 40/100GbE standard.

However, the SR4 version is expected to lose share to CR4 over time as 40Gbit/s over-copper becomes more viable.

CIR expects both CR4 and SR4 to quickly lose share once serial 40Gbit Ethernet becomes a reality in 2014.

100G Ethernet is expected to be adopted initially in the core of the network, driven by growth in 10GigE server connections and access points.

And as 100Gbit Ethernet begins to generate revenues in around 2012, CIR expects the LR4 variant to account for maybe half the market, with SR10 taking another 20 percent of the market. However, improvements in copper technology should drive CR10 share of the 100Gbit/s space to 25 percent or so by 2016.

The initial solutions for the 40Gbit Ethernet CR and SR variants will, the researchers say, rely on existing technology leveraged from InfiniBand which should give vendors a faster time to market and reduced R&D costs.

The highest investment in new technology will come from the 100Gbit LR and ER variants which require new 25Gbit technology for the electronics and the optical components. This will include lasers, modulator drivers, PIN diodes, TIAs and Serdes technology.

- John Walko
EE Times

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