According to “The Embedded Optics Market: COBO and its Alternatives – 2017-2026,” a new report from Communications Industry Researchers, the market value for embedded optics could reach $5.5 billion in 2022. The report notes that the standardisation efforts of the Consortium for on-Board Optics (COBO) group could make embedded optics technology much more popular in the optical networking industry and lead to a new “post-pluggable” transceiver era.
The CIR report provides an analysis of the commercial opportunities for embedded optics, and includes a technology assessment and ten-year market forecast of: SNAP12 modules, optical engines, proprietary optical boards (including optical backplanes) and COBO-compliant boards. It also examines the market potential for co-packaging in the race to produce the most cost-effective embedded optics. Additionally, the report discusses whether OSFP and QSFP-DD can help “save” pluggables and push off the need for embedded optics for another generation of optics.
COBO has recently formally defined its connector standards and is currently working on embedding coherent optics into its standards. By 2022 CIR expects COBO-compliant products to generate revenues of $1.5 billion. However, not all players believe that there is a need for COBO, claiming that optical networking that QSFP-DD and OSFP pluggables can support optical networking up to the Terabit networking era.
CIR says the current generation of 200 Gbits/s to 300 Gbits/s optical engines have never been huge revenue generators, causing some firms (notably TE Connectivity) to drop out of the market. However, the research company anticipates that a new generation of optical engines will emerge that will be more appropriate to the needs of today’s optical networks. For example, Furukawa Electric has demonstrated a 1.3 Tbits/s optical engine. Elenion Technologies’ optical engine incorporates modulation flexibility. Gigalight has also released an optical engine with advanced optical monitoring capability. Based on the new functionalities of optical engines, the optical engine sector will grow to reach $2.8 billion in revenues by 2022.
By John Williamson