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June 30, 2014

Data Center Active Optical Cable Sales to Hit $1.5 Billion by 2019



By Michael Guta
TMCnet Contributing Writer



Data centers are growing at incredible rates as powerful mobile devices and faster fixed and wireless broadband technology continue to be available around the world. The availability of these technologies is allowing consumers to create content and deliver it to their favorite site or store it in the cloud. This is flooding data centers with massive amounts of data, which requires a shift to fiber to some components of the infrastructure for improving efficiency. A new study by the Communications Industry Researchers (CIR) reveals the sales of active optical cables (AOC) for the data center is going to reach $1.5 billion by 2019 as more center choose fiber.

The report, "Active Optical Cable Markets – Data Center Applications," is part of a two-volume set assessing the product and market strategies of the leading suppliers in the world. It provides a nine-year forecast for the AOC market for data centers with facts about end-user application, interface standard, cable lengths, type of cable, and wavelength in units shipped and revenue terms.

Data centers need to optimize existing infrastructure by providing higher data rates between servers, switches and storage facilities. The report sees a transformation in this space in the next two years as 40 Gbps, 100 Gbps and high-speed IB connections become the norm in data center infrastructure. Additionally a growing number of data centers are adopting all-optical solutions, creating more prospects for the AOC market.

The report looked at opportunities for selling AOC to Ethernet, InfiniBand (IB), fiber channel and SAS (News - Alert) as well as AOC supporting the CX4, SFP/SFP+, QSFP, CXP, CFP, CDFP, and SAS/Min-SAS MS. The effect of macro-trends such as SDN, virtualization and the Internet-of-Things (IoT) were also examined to determine how these innovative technologies will affect the market.

Some of the leading AOC suppliers in the report include: 3M, Brocade (News - Alert), Fujitsu, Hitachi Cable, IBM, Juniper Networks, Sumitomo, TE Connectivity, Volex and others.

Globally there has been an increase in Chinese AOC suppliers competing with established U.S., European and Japanese suppliers. According to CIR, this was beyond the capabilities of Chinese suppliers a few years back, but now they're able to supply40 Gbps cables easily, with some suppliers offering100-Gbps AOCs. Meeting this challenge will require better branding, improved supply chains and the introduction of new technologies.

"The markets for such high-end AOCs are also not inconsiderable. CFP and CDFP together are expected to generate $190 million in revenues by 2019. Indeed, we think that the proverbial "next big thing" in the AOC space will be CDFP AOCs and expect to see such products prominently displayed at the OFC, ECOC and SC trade shows in 2015. For now, the three companies to watch in this space are Finisar, Molex (News - Alert) and TE Connectivity, all of which have already introduced CDFP AOCs," stated CIR in the report.




Edited by Maurice Nagle
 
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