Active Optical Cable Markets and Opportunities:  2014 to 2024:  Volume II – Personal Computing, Consumer Electronics and Digital Signage Markets


CIR has been providing market coverage of Active Optical Cables (AOCs) for six years, as this market has continued to grow and attract new entrants, including some of the world’s biggest suppliers of cabling and telecom components.  Our annual report on this topic is widely regarded as the most authoritative market forecast and technology assessment in the AOC space and is read by business development and marketing executives in cabling, component and equipment firms throughout the world.

This year, CIR has decided to split our report into two volumes. Data centers account for most of today’s revenues in the AOC space and we cover the data center in Volume I.  However, in this volume – Volume II – we examine the market potential for AOCs outside the data center, especially in consumer electronics, personal computing and digital signage.

Already, today AOCs are used as extenders in certain video environments and they have also been adopted for digital signage to a limited extent.  But that’s about it.  So, the goal of this report is to show how the AOC market will be able to further penetrate non-conventional markets and the economic and technological trends that are making it possible. The report is primarily focused on business strategy; analyzing those market sectors in which AOCs may some day find a mass market.

In a few years, these sectors may overtake the data center AOC market. However, the business and technical characteristics, as well as the acceptable price points for AOCs sold into these emerging markets will be quite different from those that are standard for data center AOCs.  With this in mind, this report examines what it will take to be successful in the market for AOCs outside the data center. In particular, this report will answer the following questions:

  • Outside of the data center, will applications use existing Ethernet AOCs or will special consumer and “prosumer” AOCs emerge?
  • How will the AOCs of the future coexist with ubiquitous consumers electronics connectivity standards such as USB and HDMI?
  • What cable lengths and price points are appropriate to AOC markets outside of the data center?
  • How will the supplier marketing and branding evolve for AOCs outside of the data center?
  • What will be the involvement of consumer electronics retailers and systems integrators in the new AOC markets?  What new alliances will be formed?  And how will new Chinese suppliers become involved in this sector of the AOC market?

The report also includes granular five-year forecasts of AOCs in the data center with appropriate breakouts by data rate, standards, cable type, reach, wavelength and form factor.

The reports also examines how macro-trends such the shift towards home video production, ultra-high definition TV and digital signage will create new opportunities for AOC firms. CIR anticipates that this report will be a high value resource for marketing and business development managers in the components, cable, consumer electronics and personal electronics firms as well as at the AOC firms themselves.

Table of Contents


Executive Summary
E.1 Changes Since Our 2013 Report
E.2 Emerging Opportunities for AOCs Outside the Data Center
E.2.1 Home Media Rooms: 3DTV, UHDTV and AOCs
E.2.2 AOCs and Home Video Production
E.2.3 AOCs in the Digital Signage Sector
E.2.4 Future Use of AOCs in Personal Computing
E.3 Opportunities and Trends by Interface Technology
E.3.1 AOC versus USB
E.3.2. AOCs, HDMI and DisplayPort
E.3.3 PCI Express, Ethernet and AOCs
E.4 Emerging AOC Types for Non-Data Center Applications
E.5 Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts of Optical Cabling Markets
E.6 Eight Firms That Will Benefit From AOC Opportunities Outside the Data Center
E.7 Summary of Eight-Year Forecasts of Optical Cabling Markets

Chapter One: Introduction
1.1 Background to this Report
1.2 Objectives and Scope of this Report
1.3 Methodology of this Report
1.3.1 Forecasting Methodology
1.4 Plan of this Report

Chapter Two: Active Optical Cabling Markets: PCs and Other Computer Applications
2.1 Addressable Market Segments for AOCs in the Computer Sector
2.1.1 Possible Uses for AOCs in LAN-On Motherboard (LOM) Applications
2.1.2 Active Optical Cabling for Board-to-Board Communications
2.1.3 Active Optical Cabling for Ruggedized PC Communications
2.1.4 Active Optical Cabling in the Professional Video Community
2.2 Key Trends in Personal Computing Impacting the AOC Market
2.2.1 The PC Community’s Many Interconnect Options: Why AOCs?
2.3 PCI Express AOCs
2.4 Ethernet and AOCs Outside of the Data Center
2.5 Thunderbolt and AOCs
2.6 Bringing AOCs into the PC Mainstream; Thoughts from the PC Industry Perspective
2.7 Assessment of the AOC Industry’s Ability to Enter the Personal Computing Market
2.7.1 Current Suppliers of AOCs for the Personal Computing Market
2.8 Ten-Year Forecasts of AOCs in the Non-Data Center Computing Market
2.8.1 Forecast by Application
2.8.2 Forecast by Protocol/Interface Standard
2.8.3 Forecast by Cable Type
2.8.4 Forecast by Cable Length
2.8.5 Forecast by Wavelength
2.9 Key Points Made in this Chapter

Chapter Three: Active Optical Cabling Markets: Consumer Electronics
3.1 Addressable Market Segments for AOCs in the Consumer Electronics Sector
3.1.1 Extension Applications for Home Theater
3.1.2 Ultra-High Definition and 3D TV Applications
3.1.3 Home Video Production
3.2 Key Trends in Consumer Electronics Impacting the AOC Market
3.3 AOC and USB
3.4 AOC and HDMI
3.5 AOC and DVI
3.6 Active Optical Cabling and DisplayPort
3.7 Assessment of the AOC Industry’s Ability to Enter the Consumer Electronics Industry
3.7.1 Prosumer and Consumer Products
3.7.2 Current Suppliers of AOCs for the Consumer Electronics Industry
3.8 Ten-Year Forecasts of AOCs in the Consumer Electronics
3.8.1 Forecast by Application
3.8.2 Forecast by Protocol/Interface Standard
3.8.3 Forecast by Cable Type
3.8.4 Forecast by Cable Length
3.8.5 Forecast by Wavelength
3.9 Key Points Made in this Chapter

Chapter Four: Active Optical Cabling Markets: Digital Signage
4.1 Networking in the Digital Signage Environment
4.2. Evolution of AOC Use in the Digital Signage Market
4.3 Suppliers and Alliances in AOC-Networked Digital Signage
4.4 Ten-Year Forecasts of AOCs in the Consumer Electronics
4.4.1 Forecast by Application
4.4.2 Forecast by Protocol/Interface Standard
4.4.3 Forecast by Cable Type
4.4.4 Forecast by Cable Length
4.4.5 Forecast by Wavelength
4.5 Key Points Made in this Chapter

Chapter Five:  Summary of Market Forecasts
5.1 Forecast of Active Optical Cabling by End-User Market
5.2 Forecast by Protocol/Interface Standard
5.3 Forecast by Cable Type
5.4 Forecast by Cable Length
5.5 Forecast by Wavelength

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