Optical transceiver: co-packaged optics and Chinese players are supporting the growth


  • Market forecasts :
    Revenue generated by optical transceiver market is expected to reach US$20.9 billion in 2026, at a CAGR for 2021-2026 of 14%.
    This growth is driven by high data rate modules adoption, big cloud service and national telecom operators…
  • Technology trends:
    Three material platforms are used in today’s optical transceivers: GaAs, InP and SiPh.
    Technology is linked with other optical communication solutions, together forming an eco-system.
    Today’s challenges are to reduce size, and decrease power consumption while increasing data throughput.
  • Supply chain:
    The ecosystem might be changed completely.
    COVID-19 affected optics manufacturing globally: China and other Asian countries, European and North American fabs…
    US vs. China: the optical transceivers industry has grown by 24% in China the last three years, while only by 1% in the US.

“For the past 50 years, mobile technology innovations have been rolled out each decade”. asserts Martin Vallo, PhD, Technology & Market Analyst, Solid-state Lighting at Yole Développement (Yole). He adds:“Mobile bandwidth requirements have evolved from voice calls and texting to UHD video and a variety of AR/VR applications. In spite of deep implications of the COVID-19 outbreak for the telecom infrastructure supply chain, consumers and business users worldwide continue to create new demand for networking and cloud services. Social networking, business meetings, video streaming in UHD, e-commerce and gaming will drive the continued application growth”.

In this context, Yole investigates disruptive technologies and related markets in depth, to point out the latest innovations and underline the business opportunities.
Released today, the Optical Transceivers for Datacom & Telecom Market 2021 report helps to understand the global landscape of fiber-optic communication and classify its technologies for newcomers to this field. The report provides straightforward and easy to understand explanations of the technology of optical transceivers. This study also examines the application landscape, and associated technologies, and provides detailed market forecasts from 2017 to 2026 for optical transceivers in datacom and telecom.

As analyzed by Yole’s team in the new Optical Transceivers for Datacom & Telecom Market 2021 report, the average number of devices connected to the internet per household and per capita is increasing. With the advent of new digital devices with increased capabilities and intelligence, the analysts observe higher adoption rates each year. Expanding machine-to-machine applications, such as smart meters, video surveillance, healthcare monitoring, connected drives, and automated logistics, contribute in a major way to device and connection growth and push the expansion of data center infrastructure.
Revenue generated by the optical transceiver market reached around US$9.6 billion in 2020 and is expected to reach US$20.9 billion in 2026 at a 14% CAGR for 2020-2026. This growth is driven by high volume adoption of high data rate modules above 100G by big cloud service operators and national telecom operators to increase in fiber-optic network capacity.

The evolution of multiple technologies has enabled data rates of 400G, 600G, 800G and beyond across data center infrastructure as well as in long-haul and metro networks. 400GbE deployments are ramping across data center networks. Many cloud providers and telecom operators are now looking to 800Gbps optical ecosystem to increase bandwidth capacity and keep pace with the growing demand for data. 800G optical modules can support more configurations, for example 2x 400GbE, 4x 200GbE or 8x 100GbE.
Today’s Ethernet switch ASICs are running at a 50Gbps lane rate driven by 50G PAM-4 modulation technology. In line cards, a retimer is typically needed to synchronize PAM-4 data from the switch to the optical interface. In 400G optical modules, an additional silicon gearbox chip can be used to convert 50G PAM-4 electrical I/Os to 100G per wavelength optical I/Os in order to connect to 100G optics. Depending on the application and transmission reach 400G offer various optical interfaces, including 400G SR4, 400G DR4, 400G FR4 and 400G LR4.

According to Pars Mukish, Business Unit Manager, Solid-State Lighting & Display at Yole: “We anticipate high popularity of 800G modules as they take advantage of 100G single-wavelength optics already proven in 400GbE systems and thus can be technically and cost-effectively implemented in QSFP-DD and OSFP form factors”.
Current form factors will be limited in their ability to support more than 800G capacity in terms of required electrical and optical densities and thermal aspects. Power consumption is another challenge. The largest contributor is the electrical interface between the switch ASIC and optical module, particularly for QSFP-DD and OSFP. As a result of discrete electrical device implementation power dissipation and thermal management are becoming limiting factors for future pluggable optics.
In this regard, Yole’s partner, the reverse engineering and costing company, System Plus Consulting, provides insight into technology data, manufacturing cost and selling price of InnoLight’s TDP4CNT-N00 400Gb QSFP-DD Optical Transceiver in its InnoLight’s 400G QSFP-DD Optical Transceiver analysis.
For Sylvain Hallereau, Principal Technology & Cost Analyst at System Plus Consulting:
“InnoLight's 400G QSFP-DD is one of the first 400G optical transceivers on the market, allowing communication up to 2km using PSM4 modulation. The InnoLight solution is based on the IN010C50 PAM4 DSP chipset, four GaAs laser driver dies, and a TIA die, all designed by Inphi”.
CPO is a new approach that brings the optics and the switch ASIC close together and aims to overcome challenges mentioned above. Furthermore, CPO technology is considered as a new deployment model of the whole ecosystem and alternative to the pluggable optics.

All year long System Plus Consulting and Yole Développement publish numerous advanced packaging reports and monitors. In addition, experts realize various key presentations and organize key conferences.

In this regard, do not miss the 4th Yole Développement and CIOE forum on Optical Transceivers & Silicon Photonics on September 2nd, 2021, in Shenzhen China and online.
Will present:
• Martin Vallo, Technology & Market Analyst, Solid-State Lighting at Yole Développement
• Alexis Debray, Technology & Market Analyst, Solid-State Lighting at Yole Développement
• Sylvain Hallereau, Principal Technology & Cost Analyst at System Plus Consulting
• Sven Otte, CEO of SICOYA
• Edison Huang, Technical Director at Shenzhen Gigalight Technology
• Liangbo Wang, Senior Technical Marketing Director at Yuanjie Semiconductor Technology
Register HERE to discuss with key players about the optical transceivers’ technologies.

Make sure to be aware of the latest news coming from the industry and get an overview of our activities, including interviews with leading companies and more on i-Micronews. Stay tuned!

CAGR: Compound Annual Growth Rate
GaAs: Gallium Arsenide
InP: Indium Phosphide
SiPh: Silicon Photonics
UHD: Ultra-High-Definition
AR/VR: Augmented Reality/Virtual Reality
ASIC: Application Specific Integrated Circuits
I/O: Inputs and Outputs
QSFP-DD: Quad Small Form-factor Double-density
OSFP: Octal Small Form-factor Pluggable
DSP: Digital Signal Processor
TIA: Transimpedance Amplifier
CPO: Co-Packaged Optics