800G Transceiver market worth US$2.5bn by 2029 – report

Created September 23, 2020
News and Business

A new report from analysts Communications Industry Researchers (CIR), finds that the market opportunity for 800G transceivers and above will reach US$245 million in revenues by 2025 rising to to US$2.5 billion by 2029.  Driven initially by video, CIR expects the traffic in data centres will be further driven by 5G and IoT applications requiring data centre infrastructure to be rebuilt using 800G interfaces. CIR sees 800G being used for interbuilding connectivity but will become a necessity for data centres that make significant use of 200G servers.  CIR also sees some pioneer efforts to build the first few public network 800G links using technology that is somewhat proprietary to the equipment makers.

According to Lawrence Gasman, author of this new study and president of CIR, “800G represents a new era in optical networking speeds and latencies to accommodate the substantial uptick in video conferencing, streaming and digital entertainment as well new applications including virtual reality, augmented reality and artificial intelligence services.”

CIR says that commercial 800G modules will be available in the next couple of years.  This means that the 800G “revolution” is an event we can expect to happen soon. Previous generations of modules have been 10x efforts – 10G to 100 G.  800G can be implemented quite quickly because it can be achieved in effect be gluing 400G modules together.  It believes that the 800G public network market will never be a large one, because transceivers will be marketed as part of larger systems packages.  They will be proprietary so that the equipment companies can squeeze as many features as possible out of their boxes in order impress the large telcos, which is not an easy thing to do. In the context of public networks, the companies that matter in terms of 800G trials are Ciena, Huawei, and Infinera, but given political realities Huawei’s market will largely limited to China and countries in China’s sphere of influence.

It adds that a few other companies including Facebook and Microsoft are important as they will provide both a testbed for the most advanced transceiver technology in this area, as well as leadership for their technology development through organizations such as COBO (Consortium for On-Board Optics), and Cisco, because of its ability to shape the entire datacom market.  CIR also believes that IBM, Intel, and a few other firms are important because they have extensive and growing experience of co-packaged/integrated optics which will eventually help Terabit networking to emerge.

The report also finds that most engineers would like to see the pluggable paradigm preserved as long as possible and a major effort has been launched to make this happen.  Unfortunately, it does not seem as if pluggability can survive past 1.6T, and in the long run, co-packaged optics may dominate the large data centre — but almost all the technology for co-packaging is still being developed.  In the middle is on-board optics, which may turn out to be an interim technology


CIR says the report, Beyond 400G: The Prospects for 800G, Terabit Pluggables, On-Board Optics, and Co-Packaged Optics, is especially focused on technologies coming out of the efforts to build high-speed interfaces based on pluggable optics, on-board optics, and co-packaged optics.  CIR compares the approaches, discusses their viability and constructs roadmaps for each technology. Another key objective for this report is to better understand of the factors driving the need for networking in this space.  It looks at the impact of video/streaming media, which has grown to an even greater extent because of COVID-19. 5G and IoT seem certain future bandwidth hogs, but what about virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and AI?  CIR notes that the advent of the 51.2T switching chips will be a key enabler for switching gear with 800G and above ports.  The report also analyses current efforts to deploy 800G in the public network. Here the drivers are almost identical; video, 5G and so on, although 5G is more emphasized, but the players are quite different.

For more information, visit cir-inc.com



This article was written
by Peter Dykes

Peter Dykes is a independent telecoms and technology journalist who has over that last 30 years written for a wide range of B2B publications and companies. A former BT engineer, he specialises in networks and associated support systems. He is currently Editor of Optical Connections.