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.

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.

Inphi Coherent TIAs Surpass 25 Billion Successful Field Hours

Inphi is the market share leader for coherent driver and receiver electronics and wanted to highlight exactly how much of their product is in the field.

“Network operators are very sensitive to quality and reliability as network uptime is a metric that has a direct impact on their bottom line,” said Andrew Schmitt, Lead Analyst at Cignal AI. “Inphi’s coherent amplifiers are used industry wide in almost all 100G and 200G long-haul, metro, and DCI networks. The company continues to invest in leading edge technology and will lead the transition to 400G coherent as well.”

Inphi: Industry’s First 64G Quad Linear Modulator Driver

Inphi announces a companion component to its 400G TIA, and now offers electronics to interface the latest 400G+ DSPs with coherent optics.

Single wavelength coherent 400G+ technology needs electronics that can support 16/64QAM modulation and challenging symbol rates of up to 64GBaud,” said Andrew Schmitt, founder and lead analyst at Cignal AI. “Inphi’s IN6417SZ is a critical component for enabling 400G coherent roadmaps at key customers who are focused on bringing next-generation of 400/600G line cards and pluggable modules to market as quickly as possible.

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.

LIGHTWAVE: Inphi to buy coherent DSP developer ClariPhy for $275M

Lightwave quotes Andrew Schmitt in its article regarding the acquisition of Clariphy Communications by Inphi:

Andrew Schmitt, founder and lead analyst at Cignal AI, believes that Inphi may not be comprehensive enough to take full advantage of its pending new assets. In particular, combining optical components (which Inphi currently doesn’t have) with the ClariPhy DSPs to create modules and other subsystems would make a stronger play, Schmitt believes.

“Strategically, I think it makes sense for someone like Inphi,” Schmitt said on a Piper Jaffrey analyst call earlier this year in regard to a potential Inphi/ClariPhy tie up. “I would argue that it makes more sense for an optical component company to take that approach – someone like an Oclaro, an NEL Photonics, or a Finisar. Because then they can, in essence, deploy the same model that Acacia has deployed. That is, being able to closely couple all the optics and the DSP to sell a full subsystem. Whereas Inphi can’t really do that.”

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.

Inphi Announces Quad Linear Driver

Inphi bet big and bet early on linear drivers, rather than limiting drivers, for coherent applications. As a result they dominate this market. It announced a product refresh at ECOC 2016.

“Inphi is a leading supplier of drivers for optical modulators and is a critical supplier of technology to reduce the cost of metro coherent and non-coherent interfaces,” said Andrew Schmitt, founder and lead analyst at Cignal AI. “Devices such as the IN3217SZ enable the higher densities and lower cost solutions that are needed in coherent 100G and 200G applications today.”

ADVA 2Q16

ADVA released excellent quarterly results on Thursday, July 21th and its optical business is hitting on all cylinders right now. The company expects to sustain its current revenue surge through the coming quarter as it continues to ship an impressive amount of 100G ports.

ADVA’s results illustrate the pivotal impact that Cloud and Colo customers exercise over quarter to quarter revenue. These customers don’t follow the more steady and predictable buying patterns of traditional incumbent wholesale carriers.

Furthermore, ADVA’s robust results are an exceptional leading indicator for Acacia, which will report shortly on August 11th.

Cignal AI analyzes ADVA’s Cloudconnect, the ripple effect on Acacia, Inphi ColorZ, and offers our commentary on ADVA’s British Telecom business.
Requires Optical Hardware subscription.

Investor Call – China, CFP2-ACO, ROADMs & More

Andrew Schmitt created some excitement when he spoke about optical component and equipment market trends on a Piper Jaffray investor call on April 22. 83 investor clients were on the line, and some insightful questions were posed to Andrew as he gave his observations on a wide range of topics. The following is a full transcript of that discussion.
Continue Reading

Metro DCI – What’s Next

Andrew presented “Metro DCI – What’s Next?” at the annual OSA Executive Forum before OFC 2016. His slides focused on the evolution of metro DCI and highlighted the opportunity for metro-access 100G, including coherent and non-coherent approaches.

Co-panelists included Arista and Microsoft. Microsoft used this opportunity to announce it’s intention to deploy InPhi’s ColorZ PAM-4 metro-access 100G technology.
Requires Optical Active Insight subscription.

Optical Whitebox – OFC 2016

Component and equipment vendors outlined the investments they are making in anticipation of some service providers adopting open line systems or fully dis-aggregated optical systems. This is a contentious technology trend in the industry; one which ignites opinions and whose conclusion is far from clear.

After silicon photonics, this was the area of the most interesting activity during OFC 2016. It is a complex trend requires equipment & component vendors to pivot both their hardware architectures and business models to address new potential opportunities. And it is far from clear whether this market will extend beyond the webco.

We review vendor activity and our observations of this market.
Requires Optical Active Insight subscription.

Silicon Photonics – OFC 2016

The optical component industry is changing from one in which existing InP and discrete designs are replicated in SiPho to a new approach under which the unique benefits of SiPho are better exploited. Several announcements made recently at OFC 2016 underscore that companies are beginning to migrate to these key applications for silicon photonics.
Requires Optical Active Insight subscription.

MultiPhy pivots to PAM-4 silicon, takes Semtech investment

Everyone is getting aboard the PAM-4 train.

Active Insight