New CIR Report Examines the Commercial Future of 400-Gigabit Ethernet

Charlottesville, VA:  Industry analyst firm CIR has announced release of a new report titled, “Next-Generation Ethernet:  From 100 Gbps to 400 Gbps and Beyond.” The report assesses the business and deployment models emerging for 400 GigE and provides the first tentative revenue and port forecasts for its deployment.  In the report CIR notes that the world’s largest data centers have already begun go deploy 400 Gbps aggregations and backbones and efforts put forth by the IEEE towards standardizing 400 Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) represents major progress towards creating a 400 Gbps networking market.

For more details of the report see:

CIR’s next report will be a market forecast of 400 Gbps and Terabit deployments in the public network.

About the report:

In this report, CIR presents its view on where 400 GigE opportunities will be found for component makers, equipment firms and carriers.  It focuses on demand from medium-to-large data centers, but also discusses how 400 GigE will play in metro networks and in WANs.  Since 400 GigE will be a significant technological challenge, this report also discusses how the latest VCSEL, FEC and modulation technology will enable the new 400 GigE standard. Also covered are the likely module MSAs that will be used for 400 GigE.

The report also provides a strategic assessment of firms that will be the key players in 400 GigE space.  Firms discussed in this report include: Arista, Avago, Brocade, Cisco, Extreme Networks, Facebook, Finisar, Furukawa, Google, IBM, JDSU, Juniper, Molex, Netflix, Sumitomo, TE Connectivity, ULM Photonics, and VI Systems.

From the report:

CIR sees 400 GigE as being sold into the same medium-to-large data centers as 100 GigE is today, but believes that the addressable market for 400 GigE will be considerably larger than that initially targeted by 100 GigE.  The size of the average data center has grown exponentially since then, with new applications – especially “big data” – pushing this growth forward.

While the 100 GigE effort saw squabbling over interim standards, the 400 GigE standard has been designed to prevent another Ethernet war.  However, there is still plenty of room for squabbles especially over reach and module formats

400 GigE will be the first IEEE standard that will be almost wholly fiber (copper will be used only in chip-to-chip and chip-to-module interconnects).  The arrival of 400 GigE will be a big incentive for much greater use of single-mode fiber in the data center and for the arrival of the all-SMF data center.  CIR believes that these trends will create new opportunities for manufacturers of fiber optic connectors and active optic cables.

400 GigE will be the end of the long era in which Ethernet is based around 10 Gbps channels and NRZ modulation.  The future will be 100 Gbps channels and PAM modulation.   This will create major new challenges for ASIC and optical device makers, especially with regard to creating higher levels of integration

About CIR:

Communications Industry Researchers has been publishing hype-free industry analysis of the high-speed optical networking market for more than 20 years. CIR has been tracking the commercial development of Ethernet since 1991.  It has subsequently analyzed every generation of Ethernet all the way to 100 Gbps.  Visit for a full listing of CIR’s reports and other services.

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