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Active Optical Cable Markets 2015: Volume One: Data Center and High-Performance Computing Markets

  • ID: 3388757
  • Report
  • September 2015
  • CIR
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Data Centers will Buy $4.2 Billion in Active Optical Cables by 2020


  • 10GTEK
  • Avago
  • Eoptolink
  • Fujikura
  • InnoLight
  • Samtec
  • MORE
This past year has been a good one for Active Optical Cables (AOCs) as data centers and HPC facilities upgrade to 100G and high-speed IB connectivity. We are also seeing the number of all-optical data centers creep up, with AOCs providing a useful path to the all-optical environment. Meanwhile Ethernet AOCs continue to be the "next big thing" and core router manufacturers have gradually begun to adopt AOCs as convenient tools of the trade.

This annual report on active optical cable (AOC) market opportunities is the most widely regarded and authoritative market forecast and technology assessment covering AOCs in data centers and the high-performance computing (HPC) space:

- The AOC report has been the reliable source for business development and marketing executives in cabling, component and equipment firms throughout the world for almost eight years

- It is strongly focus focused on business strategy, analyzing the sectors of corporate networking in which AOCs are likely to find a market and identifying the main opportunities markets

- The report examines the most important marketing issues faced in the AOC market, such as the importance of branding

- This 2015 edition of our AOC report provides our most granular forecast ever, with breakouts by protocols, MSAs, types of connector, reach, cable length, type of cable and wavelength. All of our forecasts are presented in both volume and value terms

- The report also contains strategic assessments of all major manufacturers. It provides an assessment of the product/market strategies of more than 30 key AOC manufacturers including Chinese suppliers and other new entrants

This report is Volume One of a two-report set. Volume Two – which examines revenue generation by AOCs in emerging addressable markets such as consumer electronics, personal computing and digital signage – will also be published soon.

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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  • 10GTEK
  • Avago
  • Eoptolink
  • Fujikura
  • InnoLight
  • Samtec
  • MORE
Executive Summary

E.1 Changing AOC Market Conditions Since 2014 Reports
E.1.1 Problem # 1: Is the Profitability of the AOC Business Declining?
E.1.2 Problem # 2: The Shift to Chinese AOCs is Unstoppable
E.2 The Future of Competition in the AOC Space: A World Turned Upside Down
E.2.1 Large Data Centers Will Become a Target Market for Established AOC Suppliers
E.2.2 AOCs Will Become a Branded Product
E.2.3 Competing on Product Design: How Effective?
E.2.4 Innovation Creates Larger Addressable Markets for AOCs: SAS 3.0
E.3 Summary of Market Forecasts
E.4 Differences from Previous CIR Reports and Forecasts

Chapter One: Introduction
1.1 Will the AOC Market Continue to Grow?
1.1.1 The Core Value Proposition for AOCs Still Remains Strong
1.1.2 Breaking Out: Beyond IB, but Slowly
1.1.3 Will the All-Optical Data Center Kill the AOC Market?
1.1.4 Branding, Technology and the Commoditization Factor
1.2 Intended Audience for this Report
1.3 Objectives of this Report
1.4 Scope of this Report
1.5 Methodology
1.6 Plan of this Report

Chapter Two: Data Centers and Enterprise Networks as a Market for AOCs
2.1 Key Data Center Trends Impacting the AOC Market: An Overview
2.1.1 AOCs, Big Data and the IoT: Slower Progress
2.1.2 AOCs and the Cloud: No Longer a Major Growth Market for AOCs?
2.1.3 AOCs and the Temporary Data Centers: A Perfect Fit
2.1.4 AOCs in the All-Optical Data Center
2.1.5 Co-Location and AOCs
2.1.6 The Slow Death of Copper: Active Optical Cables
2.2 Evolution of Active Optical Cabling Products for the Corporate Networking Environment
2.2.1 AOCs as CX4 Replacement
2.2.2 AOCs in a 10G Server Environment
2.2.3 40-Gbps and 100-Gbps AOC Product Evolution
2.2.4 CFP and AOCs
2.2.5 AOCs and QSFP/QSFP28
2.2.6 AOCs and CXP
2.2.7 AOCs at 400 Gbps
2.3 AOCs and the InfiniBand Roadmap
2.3.1 AOCs and the Future of IB
2.3.2 IB AOCs: Products and Vendors
2.4 AOCs and Storage
2.4.1 Fibre Channel AOCs
2.4.2 AOCs and SAS
2.5 Hybrid AOCs
2.6 AOCs and Serial Ethernet
2.7 Active Optical Cabling in the Campus and Telecom Environment
2.8 Summary of Key Points Made in this Chapter

Chapter Three: Firms to Watch in the AOC Business
3.1 3c-Link (China)
3.2 3M (United States)
3.3 10Gtek (China)
3.3.1 New 100-Gbps Offerings
3.4 Amphenol (United States)
3.5 Avago Technologies (United States)
3.5.1 Avago's Current AOC Offerings
3.5.2 AOC-related Litigation
3.5.3 A Note on Broadcom Acquisition
3.6 Centera Photonics (China)
3.7 ConnPro (Taiwan)
3.8 Eoptolink (China)
3.9 FCI Electronics (France/Singapore)
3.9.1 Mini-SAS HD AOC
3.9.2 Other FCI AOCs
3.9.3 The Future of FCI in AOCs
3.10 Fiberon Technologies (Locations in several countries)
3.11 Finisar (United States)
3.11.1 Quadwire
3.11.2 C.wire
3.11.3 Finisar's Future in the AOC Business
3.12 Fujikura (Japan)
3.13 Fujitsu (Japan)
3.14 Gigalight Technology (China)
3.14.1 AOC Product Line
3.15 Hitachi Cable
3.16 InnoLight (China)
3.17 Mellanox (Israel)
3.17.1 Mellanox AOCs at the 100 Gbps Level
3.18 Molex (United States)
3.18.1 QuatroScale
3.18.2 CDFP and zCD
3.18.3 iPass
3.19 MultiLane (Lebanon)
3.20 Samtec (United States)
3.20.1 AOC Products Offered
3.21 Siemon (United States)
3.22 Sumitomo (U.S./Japan)
3.23 TE Connectivity (United States)
3.23.1 Conventional AOC Products
3.23.2 Newer Products: Coolbit and CDFP
3.24 Zephyr Photonics (United States)

Chapter Four: Market Forecasts
4.1 Forecasting Methodology
4.1.1 Sources of Data
4.1.2 Forecasts from Experience
4.1.3 Can this be the End of Copper?
4.2 Alternative Scenarios
4.2.1 Economic and Demographic Possibilities
4.2.2 Impact of the Future of Multimedia
4.2.3 Overestimating Optics
4.3 Ten-Year Forecast of AOCs: Basic Assumptions and Calculations
4.3.1 Network Topology Considerations
4.3.2 What is the Size of the Addressable Market of AOCs Today?
4.4 Ten-Year Forecasts of AOCs
4.4.1 Forecast of Addressable Markets for AOCs by Type of Network: Data Center, Campus and Military
4.4.2 Forecast of Fiber Optics and AOCs
4.4.3 AOC Pricing Assumptions and Breakout by Interface/MSA
4.4.4 A Note on 25 Gbps AOCs
4.5 Forecast of AOCs by Protocol Environment: IB, Ethernet and Other
4.6 Forecast of AOCs by Length Including Campus AOCs
4.6.1 Campus Networks
4.7 Forecast of AOCs by Media Type and Wavelength
4.8 Forecast by End-User Geography

Acronyms and Abbreviations Used In this Report
About the Author
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  • 10GTEK
  • Avago
  • Eoptolink
  • Fujikura
  • InnoLight
  • Samtec
  • MORE
According to a new report, the market for active optical cables (AOCs) used in data centers will reach $4.2 Billion in 2020. This report “Active Optical Cable Markets 2015: Data Center and High-Performance Computing Markets,” is the latest report on AOCs, an area the author has covered for a decade.

Although the author remains bullish on AOCs, the report finds less innovation than in the past 12 months than previously, suggesting strong growth but at lower prices than might once have been expected.

About the Report:

This report provides market analysis for AOCs in commercial data centers, as well campus and military networks. It also contains 10-year forecasts, with breakouts by MSAs, types of connector, reach, cable length, type of cable, wavelength, type of network and end-user geography. In the report, we also provide an assessment of the product/market strategies of 25 key AOC manufacturers including Chinese suppliers and other new entrants.

Among the companies discussed are: 3c-Link, 3M, 10GTEK, Amphenol, Avago, Brocade, Centera, Cisco, ConnPro, Eoptolink, FCI, Fiberon, Finisar, Fujikura, Fujitsu, Gigalight Hitachi Cable, IBM, InnoLight, Intel, JDSU, Juniper, Luxtera, Mellanox, Molex, Samtec, Siemon, Sumitomo, TE Connectivity and Zephyr Photonics

From the Report:

Throughout the next decade, QSFP and CXP will account for much of the revenue in the AOC market. In 2020, QSFP+ and QSFP28 revenues will reach $727 million and $741 respectively. These MSAs support both the Ethernet and IB protocols that are crucial in data center markets as well as those data rates most appropriate to data centers.

The large data centers, which are most likely to buy AOCs in volume, are still mostly in the West and Japan. Together, Japan, the developed European countries and North America will account for 60 percent of worldwide AOC revenues in 2020. Despite growing competition from new Chinese AOC vendors, established AOC suppliers already have a deep understanding and relationships in these geographies that will be hard for new entrants to overcome.

Although not much has been heard of 400 Gbps AOCs in 2015, we think that by 2020 they will account for around $360 million. But while 400 Gbps AOCs may be the next big thing, over the past year, it is 25 Gbps AOCs that have attracted much of the attention.
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- 10GTEK
- 3M
- Accelink
- Amphenol
- Avago
- Centera Photonics
- ConnPro
- Corning
- Eoptolink
- FCI Electronics
- Fiberon Technologies
- Finisar
- Fujikura
- Fujitsu
- GigaLight Technology
- Hitachi Cable
- InnoLight
- Mellanox
- Molex
- Multilane
- Samtec
- Siemon
- Sopto
- Sumitomo
- TE Connectivity

Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown
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Note: Product cover images may vary from those shown