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.
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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 – 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.

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.

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Requires Optical Active Insight or 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.
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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.

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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.

1H16 Optical Hardware Applications

Our 1H16 edition of the Optical Hardware Applications report has been published.

The Excel file contains:

  • Datacenter Interconnect Hardware market share and forecasts
  • Advanced Switching 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

Subscribers can download the full excel file, registered users can view updated report information. Analysis is under way – we wanted to share market data with you as it became available.

Report Details Excel

2H15 Optical Hardware Applications

Our initial set of optical equipment results and forecasts for Datacenter Interconnect, Advanced Optical Switching, as well as detailed 100G+ Coherent and non-coherent port shipments have been published in Excel format.

Report information, tracked vendors, and details on categories have also been updated. Subscribers can download the full excel file, registered users can view updated report information.

Report Details Excel

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.
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Acacia Communications – IPO Analysis

The optical networking world finally gets a close up view of Acacia’s performance as the company is filing for an IPO. The most recent S-1/A filing by Acacia includes 2015 financial details, which we review through the lenses of Cignal AI’s customer and market knowledge in order to create a fine-grained view of the company’s performance and qualitative outlook. This analysis includes a detailed projection of customer composition for 90%+ of revenue, market share within entire 100G market, and estimates of ASPs beyond what is included in public documents.
Requires Optical Active Insight subscription.