2Q18 Optical Applications Report

Cignal AI’s 2Q18 Optical Hardware Applications Report has been issued.

The new report has significant updates and enhancements:

  • Implemented rolling 12-month average data, allowing clients to see better see long-term market share and trends absent of seasonality effects.
  • Added 2Q18 market share results for Compact Modular and Advanced Packet-OTN Switching equipment hardware as well as 2Q18 100G+ port shipments.
  • Adjusted 100G+ port forecasts for 2018.

Current Optical Applications Report subscribers can download updated Excel and PowerPoint files.

Report Details Excel PowerPoint

 

Further detail on the changes and updates to Cignal AI’s Optical Applications Report are below:

Requires Optical Hardware Applications subscription

Third Generation Coherent Technology

The transition to the latest coherent WDM technology is underway and its effects are rippling through the optical market. It’s time to take a step back and sort out where things are, what worked, who benefitted, and what happens next.

In this Active Insight report, Cignal AI outlines several generations of coherent WDM deployments and examines the catalysts and keys to market success for the third generation of coherent.

Summary

  • Third generation coherent has arrived and will account for almost all global coherent market growth starting in 2019.
  • Maximum speed alone is not a sufficient benchmark for success in the coherent market. Baud rate and system features better differentiate coherent generations as multi-haul technology becomes a reality.
  • Historically, vertically integrated companies that design and engineer the coherent link end-to-end have been first to market and capture most of the worldwide market share.
  • 4th gen coherent is only two years away and will address the massive metro-edge market. The introduction of 400ZR and lower speed derivatives will squeeze out 10Gb/s WDM deployments.
  • The transition to 5th gen coherent places greater importance on system-level engineering as the Shannon limit is reached and opportunities for improvement in the coherent DSP diminish.

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Requires Optical Active Insight subscription

Cloud Spending on Optical Hardware – 1Q18 Update

In October 2017,  Cignal AI analyzed the occurrence of a slowdown in spending by cloud & colo operators and quantified the magnitude of its impact (see Analysis: 1H17 Cloud and Colo Spending Slowdown).

The report conclusions contradicted the common but inaccurate perception that spending by cloud operators such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft on optical transport equipment was growing at a rapid rate.

This report has been enhanced with new analysis and updated vendor shipment data from 3Q17, 4Q17, and 1Q18 from equipment and component vendors.

This update includes:

  • A summary of cloud & colo spending definitions
  • Fresh analysis of changes in quarterly spending trends by cloud & colo operators through 1Q18
  • Recent shifts in market share among optical equipment vendors to this customer market
  • Quantitative analysis of underlying causes of flat spending, including continued price compression through 2018 and displacement by IPoDWDM via Inphi, Acacia, and Oclaro components.

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Requires Optical Customer Markets subscription

Packet Pushers Hosts Cignal AI

Andrew Schmitt was invited by Packet Pushers and Scott Wilkinson of ECI to participate in one of its weekly podcasts. While not well known in the service provider world, it is popular among the network engineers of small to large Enterprises. Each podcast has about 10,000 downloads per episode.

This episode covered topics of interest to enterprise networking engineers: silicon photonics, data center interconnect (DCI) and enterprises using dark fiber to directly connect sites. It also examines the open optical movement being driven by the Facebook-backed Telecom Infrastructure Project as well as the practice of buying and deploying unbranded optics for use in OEM equipment.

You can listen to the podcast embedded below or at the Packet Pushers site where there are also some show notes.

A full transcript of the show is also available for clients.

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1Q18 Optical Applications Report

Cignal AI’s 1Q18 Optical Hardware Applications Report has been issued. Its arrival marks the first quarterly release of this report, which will now be standard practice; previously the report was published every six months.

The new report has significant updates and enhancements:

  • Added 200G and 400G+ vendor market share, allowing clients to see total port shipments by vendor along with details by port speed.
  • Added 1Q18 market share results for Compact Modular and Advanced Packet-OTN Switching equipment hardware as well as 1Q18 100G+ port shipments.
  • Adjusted Compact Modular and Packet-OTN forecasts. There have been some shifts in how both of these markets will develop.

The 1Q18 Optical Applications Report examines the following:

  • Compact Modular hardware market share and forecasts
  • 100G, 200G, 400G coherent port shipments & vendor market share
  • 100G, 200G, and 400G+ coherent, 400G ZR and direct detect port forecasts
  • Advanced Packet-OTN Switching market share and forecasts

Current Optical Applications Report subscribers can download updated Excel and PowerPoint files.

Report Details Excel PowerPoint

 

Further detail on the changes and updates to Cignal AI’s Optical Applications Report are below:

Requires Optical Hardware Applications subscription

4Q17 Optical Applications Report

The 4Q17 edition of the Optical Hardware Applications report has been released. The report contains details on the following areas:

  • Compact Modular hardware market share and forecasts
  • 100G+ coherent port shipments & vendor market share
  • 100G, 200G, and 400G+ coherent, 400G ZR and direct detect port shipments and forecast
  • Advanced Packet-OTN Switching market share and forecasts

This release has significant updates and enhancements:

  • Updates to the 400G port shipment methodology, simplifying the categorization of ports. Physical port shipments are no longer defined by reach. All 100G, 200G, and 400G+ coherent port shipments are counted, as well as direct detect and 400G ZR for edge applications.
  • Added 3Q and 4Q17 market share results for Compact Modular and Advanced Packet-OTN Switching equipment hardware.
  • Updated coherent port shipment market share to include Inphi ColorZ historical numbers. Despite not being a coherent solution, it does displace the use of coherent 100G and its impact should be measured.
  • The Compact Modular hardware forecast was increased again. This market continues to grow at rates that outstrip the most optimistic projections.
  • Report updates are now quarterly.

Current subscribers can download Excel and PowerPoint files.

Report Details Excel PowerPoint

OFC 2018 – Coherent Technology

Trends in coherent technology generated enthusiasm among the participants at OFC 2018, and 400G ZR applications were of particular interest. Nokia and Infinera outlined next-generation coherent roadmaps, and Acacia and NTT Electronics showcased silicon fresh back from the fab. Many component companies announced smaller, lower cost devices to enable new WDM applications. In this report, Cignal AI examines OFC 2018’s coherent technology announcements and their implications.

 

Requires Optical Active Insight subscription

OFC 2018 – Consolidation

Each year, there is at least one announcement at OFC which surprises the industry. In 2016, the announcement was the introduction of Inphi’s ColorZ, while in 2017 it was news of Ciena choosing to license the Wavelogic DSP to module vendors. And yet, OFC2018 delivered a surprise that exceeded both: Lumentum will acquire Oclaro.
Requires Optical Active Insight subscription

Nokia PSE-3 Coherent Chipset

On March 6, 2018, Nokia announced its fourth generation coherent optical technology, the PSE-3, which continues the company’s strategy of developing coherent DSP processors in-house. Nokia is betting that these chips will differentiate the performance, price, and availability of its optical hardware products.

This Cignal AI report explores what makes the new PSE-3s different from off-the-shelf solutions and examines the question of whether or not vertical integration still makes sense in this market.

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Investor Call – Piper Jaffray Optical Event

Piper Jaffray logo

Andrew Schmitt was the featured speaker on an investor call hosted by Troy Jensen of Piper Jaffray on February 21st. Forty-four participants listened in and posed their questions as Andrew gave his perspective on the latest events in the optical component and equipment market.

Topics during the call included:

  • Anticipated impact of China’s MIIT plan on existing component suppliers
  • The divergence in Chinese equipment revenue and supply chain
  • The market outlook for ROADMs in 2018
  • The 400G+ Coherent DSP and component outlook
  • The evolution of the CFP2-ACO and DCO market
  • Analysis of equipment companies outsourcing DSPs
  • Update on Inphi’s ColorZ, modulator driver, and PAM-4 business
  • Infinera’s market opportunity with the CX2 and ICE4 based products
  • North American CapEx in 2018 and optical equipment forecast
  • Ciena’s 400G market monopoly in 2018

Active Insight clients can access a summary of the key takeaways, a written transcript, an audio replay, and participate in Q&A.

Requires Optical Active Insight subscription

China’s 5 Year Optical Component Plan

China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) released a five-year plan in December 2017 outlining a roadmap for commercial and technological progress in a broad set of optical technologies. The 63-page document is in Chinese. The following Cignal AI report is based on a professionally translated version of the document and summarizes the section of the plan about the Chinese optical component industry.

The goals and objectives outlined in the plan are exceptionally ambitious and should concern incumbent component vendors. This document outlines strategic rather than rational economic objectives to catalyze market progress in Chinese component companies. Our interpretation is that this will increase the number of non-rational economic actors participating in the component market.

If executed, this plan will greatly increase the level of competition in an already fractured industry.  It will also reduce or in some cases eliminate access for western component vendors to the largest market for optical communications components in the world – China.

Electronic copies of the source MIIT document as well as the translated version of the section on optical components are available to clients for download.

Chinese PDF English PDF

 

Requires Optical Active Insight subscription

Analysis: 1H17 Cloud and Colo Spending Slowdown

Compact Modular Hardware Introduction Timeline

Cignal AI’s recent Optical Customer Markets Report discovered an unexpected weakness in 2017 optical transport equipment spending from cloud & colo operators (see Cignal AI Reports Unexpected Drop in Cloud and Colo Spending). This surprising trend was then further supported by public comments later made by Juniper and Applied Optoelectronics, prompting us to examine the situation in greater detail.

This detailed brief includes:

  • Cloud & colo spending as defined by Cignal AI
  • Analysis of quarterly spending trends by cloud & colo operators
  • Recent shifts in market share among equipment vendors to this market
  • Quantitative analysis of underlying causes of this slowing, including price compression and displacement by IPoDWDM via Inphi, Acacia, and Oclaro components

Requires Optical Customer Markets subscription

ECOC 2017 – China Observations

This is Cignal AI’s second ECOC 2018 brief, focused on news out of China.

Topics include:

  • China Inventory and 2018 Demand
  • Ciena Wavelogic AI Licensing Update
  • China ROADM Deployment Outlook
  • Huawei 100G+ Coherent Technology Roadmap

Our first brief, issued on October 3rd, focused on coherent 100G+ technology updates.

Requires Optical Active Insight subscription

ECOC2017 – Coherent 100G+

ECOC is one of the most significant conferences in optical networking worldwide. This year’s conference was held in Gothenburg, Sweden, and the event was well attended by the engineering community, as the conference trends heavy on technology and light on marketing. We at Cignal AI like ECOC because it gives us another opportunity to converse with the folks directly responsible for charting the technical roadmap of upcoming optical systems.

In this first of several ECOC briefs, we share some of our findings on the changing trends in coherent optics. Subsequent briefs will explore China and client optics.

  • CFP2-ACO Outlook – The ACO market is going away; what this means
  • Silicon Photonics – Searching for the killer app
  • Inphi ColorZ – Moving downmarket to grow volume
  • 400G ZR – Examining investment risk and rewards
  • Acacia CFP2-DCO – Market Feedback

Requires Optical Active Insight subscription

1H17 Optical Applications Report

Our 1H17 edition of the Optical Hardware Applications report has been released.

The report contains details on the following areas:

  • Compact Modular hardware market share and forecasts
  • 100G+ Coherent port shipments vendor market share
  • 100G, 200G, and 400G+ Coherent and Direct Detect port shipments and forecast
  • Advanced Packet-OTN Switching market share and forecasts

This report includes significant updates and enhancements:

  • Initiated a coherent 400G port shipment forecast, estimating demand for 400G wavelengths in CY17 and beyond, including the upcoming 400G ZR pluggable format. The forecast also quantifies the emergence of coherent 100G in volume at the edge of the optical network. A more detailed written analysis sharing the assumptions behind this forecast will be published in the coming weeks. In the meantime, we welcome feedback on the quantitative forecast.
  • Renamed DCI Hardware category to “Compact Modular”. DCI is an application, not a hardware category, and these compact, modular chassis are being used in several applications, including DCI. As Incumbent, Cable MSO, and Wholesale operators evaluate and deploy these systems it is important that this category name better reflect the defining characteristics of these systems. A listing of the specific systems in this category can be found here.
  • Added 1H17 market share results for Compact Modular and Advanced Packet-OTN Switching equipment hardware. Also updated coherent port shipment market share to include vendor results for 1H17.
  • Compact Modular hardware forecast increased in 2017 and 2018 as result of discussions with vendors. This is a bottoms-up change with the risk that multiple vendors are double-counting the same opportunities.
  • Historical 100G+ Port Shipments adjusted to align with actual customer shipment data.

Current subscribers can download Excel and PowerPoint files.

Report Details Excel PowerPoint

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

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