Data Centers will buy $4.2 Billion in Active Optical Cables by 2020 says Just-Published Report

Charlottesville, Virginia:  According to a new report from Communications Industry Researchers (CIR), the market for active optical cables (AOCs) used in data centers will reach $4.2 Billion in 2020.  This report “Active Optical Cable Markets 2015:  Data Center and High-Performance Computing Markets,” is the latest CIR report on AOCs, an area CIR has covered for a decade.

Although CIR remains bullish on AOCs, the report finds less innovation than in the past 12 months than previously, suggesting strong growth but at lower prices than might once have been expected.

For more details on this report—including a table of contents and description – see: CIR will soon publish a companion report covering AOCs for emerging markets including consumer electronics, personal computing and digital signage.

About the Report:

This report provides market analysis for AOCs in commercial data centers, as well campus and military networks.  It also contains 10-year forecasts, with breakouts by MSAs, types of connector, reach, cable length, type of cable, wavelength, type of network and end-user geography.  In the report, we also provide an assessment of the product/market strategies of 25 key AOC manufacturers including Chinese suppliers and other new entrants.

Among the companies discussed are: 3c-Link, 3M, 10GTEK, Amphenol, Avago, Brocade, Centera, Cisco, ConnPro, Eoptolink, FCI, Fiberon, Finisar, Fujikura, Fujitsu, Gigalight Hitachi Cable, IBM, InnoLight, Intel, JDSU, Juniper, Luxtera, Mellanox, Molex, Samtec, Siemon, Sumitomo, TE Connectivity and Zephyr Photonics

From the Report:

Throughout the next decade, QSFP and CXP will account for much of the revenue in the AOC market.  In 2020, QSFP+ and QSFP28 revenues will reach $727 million and $741 respectively.  These MSAs support both the Ethernet and IB protocols that are crucial in data center markets as well as those data rates most appropriate to data centers.

The large data centers, which are most likely to buy AOCs in volume, are still mostly in the West and Japan. Together, Japan, the developed European countries and North America will account for  60 percent of worldwide AOC revenues in 2020.  Despite growing competition from new Chinese AOC vendors, established AOC suppliers already have a deep understanding and relationships in these geographies that will be hard for new entrants to overcome.

Although not much has been heard of 400 Gbps AOCs in 2015, we think that by 2020 they will account for around $360 million.  But while 400 Gbps AOCs may be the next big thing, over the past year, it is 25 Gbps AOCs that have attracted much of the attention.

About CIR:
Communications Industry Researchers has been publishing hype-free industry analysis for the optical networking industry for almost 25 years.   Our annual reports on chip-level and rack-level/board to board interconnects are widely regarded as containing the most authoritative market forecast and technology assessment available.

Visit for a full listing of CIR’s reports and other services.

Media Contact:
Lawrence Gasman
(434) 825-1311

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