According to a new report from LightCounting, the market for 40GbE optics is booming thanks to escalating demand from cloud datacentres. The research company reckons the global volume of 40GbE shipments exceeded 3 million units in 2016, with 78% accounted for by cloud customers. LightCounting now believes shipments of 100GbE optical transceivers are likely to reach 3 million units in 2017, exceeding its previous forecast by 20%.
The previous calculation for shipments of 100GbE transceivers in 2017 was partly based on estimates for the manufacturing capacity of leading suppliers. In practice, many of these vendors were able to ramp their production faster than expected, and several new vendors started shipping 100GbE modules in 2017. LightCounting thinks leading customers for 100GbE products are planning to double, and possibly even triple, their purchases in 2018. Accordingly, it will be another busy year for suppliers trying to catch up with demand and make a profit. Reflecting this situation, the research house has increased projections for shipments of many 100GbE products in 2018. This also impacted its longer term projections, including its forecast for 400GbE optics.
LightCounting’s forecast methodology includes correlation between the growth rates of the aggregated bandwidth of optical connectivity inside datacentres, and the datacentre traffic. Amazon, Facebook and Google indicated that traffic in their mega-datacentres increased more than 100% in 2016 and it is likely stay at this rate in 2017.
However, LightCounting cautions that the roadmap beyond 100GbE remains uncertain, with too many directions to choose from. The company adds that Microsoft and Facebook have said publically they don’t want 200GbE.