China ROADM Deployment Outlook

After much of the world already transitioned to all-optically switched ROADM networks, Chinese network operators are preparing to follow suit. Most networks outside of China used optical switching as early as a decade ago, yet China chose to deploy massive electrical OTN switches instead, powered by technology from Huawei and ZTE. But now the writing’s on the wall; electrical switching can no longer scale to the sizes needed by China Mobile and China Telecom, and these operators are now moving forward with ROADM optical switching.

This transition will unfold with a different timeline than Cignal AI initially anticipated and we have updated our position on China’s 2017 ROADM deployment. Instead of pursing rapid deployment, Chinese operators will take a more conservative stand by minimizing the deployment of conventional ROADM architectures during 2017 and 2018.

In this report, Cignal AI examines what technology China has deployed to date, outlines changes in ROADM architectures, and explores the ripple impact on the optical component and semiconductor supply chain.
Requires Optical Active Insight subscription.

1Q17 Optical Hardware Forecast

On June 15th, Cignal AI issued full optical equipment market share analysis for 1st quarter 2017 (1Q17). This second report extends our analysis and summarizes forecasts and outlooks for the industry through 2021.

Subscribers to the Optical Hardware Report are able to download an excel file with actual results through 1Q17 along with detailed, up-to-date forecasts. A compilation of our latest analysis is also available in both web format as well as .pdf.

Excel PDF

 

We made some material adjustments to our forecasts for 2017 in North America and China; a detailed discussion follows.

Requires Optical Hardware subscription.

Next Gen Optical Networking 2017

Andrew Schmitt’s keynote presentation, entitled “Ways to Achieve Network Openness“, kicked off the 2017 Next Gen Optical Networking event in Nice, France on June 20th. The presentation, which highlights Cignal AI’s perspective on the various directions network operators can take as they deploy networks in the near term, was also given at a Huawei event prior to the show. Subscribers can read the presentation summary as well as download the presentation.

Powerpoint (.pdf)

Takeaways from the presentation include:
Requires Optical Active Insight or subscription.

1Q17 Optical Hardware Results

Cignal AI has released its 1st quarter 2017 (1Q17) optical hardware market share analysis, which includes a summary of revenue results for the quarter.

Summary

Global spending on optical network equipment eased worldwide, led by a double digit decline in North America.

  • Ciena remains the best performing company in North America (NA) as it remained immune to sharp pullbacks in long haul WDM (LH WDM) spending. NA spending continues to stall as a result of a technology transition from long haul to metro WDM capex, as well as materially lower results from Infinera – the second largest vendor in the region.
  • European (EMEA) spending was weaker although some vendors reported good results compared with 1Q16.
  • Optical equipment spending growth in China stalled as uncertainty about the outlook for 2017 rippled through the industry. Huawei remains very confident growth will return in 2H17 but its component suppliers grow increasingly negative as they receive mixed messages from the supply chain.
  • Metro WDM growth has yet to appear in order to offset sharp declines in LH WDM spending. This will change in 2017 as multiple vendors bring the technology to market. Coriant, Infinera, and Nokia have been impacted by this trend.
  • Subscribers to the Optical Hardware report can download an excel file with actual results through 1Q17. This Excel file contains only historical data, and it is an interim release. A subsequent file with updated forecasts and additional analysis will be available June 19, 2017.
Report Details Excel

Detailed analysis of the market and its participants during 1Q17 follows.
Requires Optical Hardware subscription.

2H16 Optical Customer Markets Report

Our 2H16 edition of the Optical Customer Markets report has been released.

The report provides insight into how much optical equipment specific network operators purchase:

  • Covers 4 global regions and five end customer types
  • Tracks shipments to Incumbent, Wholesale, Cloud & Colo (Datacenter), Cable MSO & Broadband, Enterprise & Government customers
  • Forecasts by region and category
  • Vendor market share for equipment sales to Cloud and Colo (Datacenter) customers
  • Follows strict methodology to reduce analyst subjectivity

Notable updates include:

  • Full year results for 2016
  • Report is enhanced with global vendor market share of equipment sales to Cloud and Colo customers
  • All forecasts extended through 2021
  • Added PowerPoint report summary

Subscribers can download Excel and PowerPoint files, and registered users can view updated report information.

Report Details Excel PowerPoint

OFC 2017 – Compact DCI Equipment

In our final OFC 2017 report we discuss new product announcements on purpose-built datacenter hardware and components, and share our thoughts on market developments.

  • Evolution of the compact DCI market, including recently published 4Q16 market share and adoption by new customers
  • New products and solutions, investigating announcements by Nokia, Fujitsu, and Juniper
  • Direct detect – one year later, the appearance of Ranovus, and network operator of the technology’s long term prospects

Requires Optical Active Insight subscription.

2H16 Optical Applications Report

Our 2H16 edition of the Optical Hardware Applications report has been released.

The report contains details on the following markets:

  • Datacenter Interconnect Hardware market share and forecasts
  • 100G+ Coherent port shipments and market share
  • 100G+ Metro and edge port shipments and forecast
  • 100G+ Port shipments and forecast by speed & technology
  • Advanced Switching Hardware market share and forecasts

Notable updates include:

  • Full year market share results for 2016 including all hardware categories as well as updated coherent port shipment data
  • DCI hardware forecast increased as a result of accelerating adoption outside of Cloud & Colo customers
  • Forecasts for 100G and 200G+ metro and edge coherent ports adjusted
  • All forecasts extended through 2021

Subscribers can download Excel and PowerPoint files, and registered users can view updated report information.

Report Details Excel PowerPoint

OFC 2017 – Open vs. Closed Optical Networks

There was a new cult this year at OFC, the ‘Cult of Open.’ It formed from rising sentiment that the lack of interoperability of vendors in optical networks is a major problem and that the industry needs to embrace hardware dis-aggregation.

This is not a bad cult – it ignited a healthy debate that illuminates both the positive and negative aspects of open networks and closed single-vendor networks. But some members of the Cult of Open overlook an inconvenient truth – closed networks from one vertically integrated vendor can vastly outperform open networks in some cases. Cignal AI’s key takeaways concerning open optical networks and hardware dis-aggregation include:

  • Facebook’s Voyager Platform
  • Open ROADM and Line Systems
  • Benefits of Vertical Integration

Requires Optical Active Insight subscription.

OFC 2017 – Coherent Technology

400G Coherent and Beyond
Ciena had a blockbuster announcement at OFC 2017, but there was plenty of other interesting news to feast on. Cignal AI’s key takeaways concerning coherent WDM include:

  • The outlook for 200G and CFP2-ACO volumes in 2017
  • Opinions on Ciena WaveLogic Ai Licensing
  • The roadmap review for 400G/600G & Acacia Pico
  • Sizing the risk and reward for the 400G ZR market

Requires Optical Active Insight subscription.

OFC 2017 – Inside the Datacenter

100G and the Road to 400G

The transition to 100G network speeds inside the data center is underway at every major hyperscale operator simultaneously, creating major industry bottlenecks. Despite QSFP28 being supply constrained, component and equipment suppliers are also trying to align on the next generation format for 400G operation. Cignal AI’s key takeaways from OFC 2017 with regard to data center optics include:

  • Updates on QSFP28 supply and demand
  • Alternative facts on both sides of the Octal SFP (OSFP) vs. QSFP DD debate
  • Impact of QSFP28 on CFP/CFP2 client demand
  • 400G CFP8 and 200G QSFP observations and outlook

Requires Optical Active Insight subscription.

Investor Call – OFC 2017 Takeaways

Andrew Schmitt provided key OFC 2017 takeaways during an investor call hosted by Troy Jensen of Piper Jaffray. Sixty-seven investors participated. Topics of interest included:

  • Impact of Ciena’s Wavelogic AI DSP Licensing
  • Outlook for Coherent Port Shipments in China During 2017
  • Market Outlook for CFP2-ACO/DCO and QSFP28 Markets
  • Potential Vertical Integration by Intel or InPhi
  • Timing of Metro Coherent and ROADM deployment in China
  • Chinese SARFT Capex Guidance
  • Roadmap for 400G and 600G Coherent
  • Observations on Infinera, Ciena, Acacia, Oclaro, and Neophotonics

Following is a summary of the key takeaways, as well as a full transcript of the discussion. Cignal AI clients can also listen to an audio replay.
Requires Optical Active Insight subscription.

4Q16 Optical Hardware Forecast

On February 27th, Cignal AI issued full optical equipment market share analysis for 4th quarter 2016 (4Q16). This second report, issued on March 9th, extends our analysis and summarizes forecasts and outlooks for the industry through 2021.

Subscribers to the Optical Hardware Report are able to download an excel file with actual results through 4Q16 along with detailed, up-to-date forecasts. A compilation of our latest analysis is also available in both web format as well as .pdf.

Excel PDF

 

There were some minor changes to our forecast during 4Q16:

  • Updated LH v Metro WDM mix in Japan to adjust for 100G rollout
  • Adjusted SLTE forecast to moderate declines in later years
  • Slight changes to EMEA and NA for 2017 based on CY16 results.

A detailed discussion of our near and long term forecasts follows.

Requires Optical Hardware subscription.

4Q16 Optical Hardware Results

Cignal AI has released its 4th quarter 2016 (4Q16) optical hardware market share analysis, which includes a summary of revenue results for the quarter as well as the entire calendar year 2016 (CY16).

Summary

Global spending on optical network equipment increased in all global regions except North America during CY16.

  • Nokia and ADVA were the only vendors recording significant gains in North America in a challenging 2016 environment as growth in Cloud and Colo spending failed to offset decreases in Incumbent capex. Overall, NA spending stalled in the face of the beginning of the transition from long haul to metro WDM capex.
  • Huawei drove EMEA’s modest annual spending growth in 2016, as its strong performance in this region masked the decline in revenue experienced by other equipment vendors.
  • Optical equipment spending in China – led by Huawei – increased dramatically. Deployment of coherent 100G ports doubled from that of the previous year. 2017 heralds even more rapid change, as Huawei and ZTE use new component technologies and the deployment of 100G moves to the regional level.
  • Outside of China, Ciena and Nokia outperformed their peers by leveraging leading edge 200G technology and tightly integrated supply chains. ADVA benefited from a wave of Cloud and Colo spending but now must face the uncertain revenue cycles that are characteristic of these customers. Infinera is scrambling to complete a critical product cycle while Fujitsu and Coriant navigate product and market transitions.
  • Subscribers to the Optical Hardware report can download an excel file with actual results through 4Q16. This Excel file contains only historical data, and it is an interim release. A subsequent file with updated forecasts and additional analysis will be available March 3, 2017.
Report Details Excel

Detailed analysis of the market and its participants during 4Q16 and the 2016 calendar year follows.
Requires Optical Hardware subscription.

1H16 Optical Applications Updated

Our 1H16 edition of the Optical Hardware Applications report is updated and now includes a complete PowerPoint summary.

The report contains details on the following markets:

Datacenter Interconnect Hardware market share and forecasts 100G+ Coherent port shipments and market share 100G+ Metro and edge port shipments and forecast 100G+ Port shipments and forecast by speed & technology Advanced Switching Hardware…

Requires Optical Hardware Applications subscription.

Ciena Wavelogic Ai and 400G Roadmap

This past October, Ciena announced its new coherent DSP, dubbed Wavelogic Ai. Ciena used the announcement to convey its coherent 100G+ roadmap and support for 400G. Ciena also hinted at important changes to its 100G+ business model as Wavelogic Ai is introduced to customer networks. These changes also cascade into the 400G component supply chain.

Wavelogic Ai doubles down on Ciena’s strategy of vertical integration of the DSP and optics, and extends it further into the control plane. The company continues to eschew the use of outside suppliers like Acacia, NTT Electronics, or Clariphy. We believe Ciena’s vertical integration is the company’s strategy for successfully competing with commodity hardware and dis-aggregated networks.
Requires Optical Active Insight subscription.

3Q16 Optical Hardware Forecast

On November 16th, Cignal AI issued full optical equipment market share analysis for 3rd quarter 2016 (3Q16), to be followed by an adjunct report two weeks later. This second report, issued on November 30th, extends our analysis and summarizes forecasts and outlooks for the industry through 2020.

Subscribers to the Optical Hardware Report are able to download an excel file with actual results through 3Q16 along with detailed, up-to-date forecasts.

Excel PDF

 

There were some minor changes to our forecast for the full year of 2016 during 3Q16:

  • We slightly re-balanced North American LH and Metro spending split for 2016. We previously adjusted for 2017; the mix shift is arriving earlier.
  • Moved Japan to slight YoY growth based on the arrival of very strong YoY results.
  • Raised CALA slightly as the rebound in 2H16 is beating our expectations.
  • No changes to China forecast; we recognize the conservative 4Q number but this is based on cautious YoY guidance from Huawei.

Detailed discussion of our near and long term forecasts follows.

Requires Optical Hardware subscription.

3Q16 Optical Hardware Results

Cignal AI has released its comprehensive 3rd quarter 2016 (3Q16) optical equipment market share analysis, which provides a summary of revenue results for the quarter.

Summary

The global spending on optical network equipment increased dramatically in 3Q16, with all global regions showing increased spending year over year (vs 3Q15).

  • In North America, Ciena, Nokia, ADVA and Coriant all recorded positive year over year (YoY) results with Cloud and Colo customers driving large revenue gains. Overall, the NA region grew more modestly YoY than some of the other regions.  Cable MSO’s spending declined, and large gains from the above vendors offset revenue declines at both Fujitsu and Infinera.
  • Huawei was the driver of  YoY growth for EMEA yet again, as the company’s strong performance continued to mask declines in revenue for other equipment vendors in the region. Excluding Huawei, there was a sharp decline in spending, and Infinera was the only other vendor with substantial YoY gains.
  • Chinese optical equipment spending continued to surge, 20+% YoY, as coherent 100G deployment marched forward. Chinese equipment companies anticipate further growth through 2017, with an acceleration in metro WDM deployment next year.
  • Outside of the secular boom benefiting Chinese suppliers,  Ciena and Nokia performed well YoY and ADVA preserved large gains it made in 2Q16. A common denominator of growth was exposure to the Cloud and Colo sector.
  • Japanese equipment suppliers enjoyed a second quarter of YoY revenue increases as 100G deployment is ramping up in the region. At the same time, a market share shift from NEC to Fujitsu appears to be taking place.

Subscribers to the Optical Hardware report can download an excel file with actual results through 3Q16. This Excel file contains only historical data, and it is an interim release. A subsequent file with updated forecasts and additional analysis will be available November 28th.

Excel

Detailed analysis of the 3Q16 market and its participants follows.
Requires Optical Hardware subscription.

Intel 3Q16

Intel’s financial results provide useful insight into the economic activities of the Cloud and Colo market. Effectively all of the CPUs (and now FPGAs) used in data centers come from Intel, and the company is slowly extending into other businesses via silicon photonics. The company reported results this week and digging through the numbers foreshadows an interesting conclusion about Cloud and Colo spend in 3Q16.
Requires Optical Active Insight subscription.

Investor Call – China 2017, CFP2-ACO, Coherent DSPs

Andrew Schmitt gave an update on the optical equipment and component market during an investor call hosted by Troy Jensen of Piper Jaffray on Tuesday, October 4. Sixty-eight investors participated. An extended Q&A session followed Andrew’s presentation, and topics of interest included:

  • China 100G port volume trends for 2H16 and 2017
  • Huawei’s upcoming 100G technology decisions and supplier purchasing shifts
  • CFP2-ACO shipments and the component & equipment supply chain for this product
  • Coherent DSP R&D developments and supplier updates
  • Updates on direct-detect 100G and PAM-4 development
  • Observations on Infinera, Ciena, Acacia, Inphi, and Clariphy and discussion of potential M&A activity

Following is a summary of the key takeaways, as well as a full transcript of the discussion. Cignal AI clients can also listen to an audio replay.
Continue Reading

ECOC 2016 Notes and Observations

Andrew Schmitt presented at the ECOC (European Conference for Optical Communications) in Dusseldorf, Germany during the week of Sept. 19. No time was wasted during the trip as Andrew fit in well over 30 scheduled meetings with component and equipment suppliers and end users of optical hardware.

The meetings were very productive and we gained new insight in several areas:

  • Huawei’s plans to transition to 100G CFP-DCO technology and what will follow
  • Updates on vendor selection and R&D in coherent DSPs
  • Details on the ongoing ramp in CFP2-ACO and the development of this new market
  • Overview of 400G market development
  • More insight into Nokia’s China Mobile optical design win

Requires Optical Active Insight subscription.