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Ovum » Silicon Photonics: a Tale of Two Markets

Silicon Photonics: a Tale of Two Markets

06th September 2012

  • Karen Liu
  • Principal Analyst
  • Intelligent Networks


Developers say they are addressing both the on-board/in-package interconnect and pluggable transceiver modules markets, but two markets are not better than one: responsibility, requirements, and status are made murky. The dichotomy already drives subtly different versions of silicon photonics, and we believe designs will diverge further.

Market requirements at 100G are indeed transformational: they are forcing the industry to become open to new approaches. Silicon photonics is but one of the avenues being explored for integrated devices and new materials. The oft-cited drivers for silicon photonics also support competing directions.

Features and Benefits

  • Describes and compares silicon photonics applications and estimates addressable market size for optical transceiver and optical interconnect markets
  • Assesses how the major players in silicon photonics are positioned relative to these two markets
  • Provides company briefs on 11 significant market players including positioning, technical approach, and Ovum's assessment of their strategies
  • Offers a taxonomy of different kinds of silicon photonics and provides context for assessing claims made by proponents on the technology’s benefits

Key Questions Answered

  • What is the real status of silicon photonics given the hype it has gotten? Will it displace current transceiver technology?
  • Who are the key players and what are their motivations? Who is still missing from the picture?
  • What are the likely next developments in the market to watch for? How important is it to have a silicon laser?

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