As 10 Gigabit Ethernet follows earlier Ethernet technologies into the "mass market" phase, sales revenue from 10Gbps telecoms and data communications equipment is forecast to more than double from $2.1bn in 2006 to $4.8bn by 2010.
According to a recent report from market research and consulting firm CIR, demand for 10Gbps kit will fuel growth from 221,000 ports to 1.6 million ports shipped over the next five years.
The study noted that the 10Gbps Ethernet market is rapidly becoming commoditised and is seeing a huge transfer of production facilities to Asia.
However, CIR believes that established firms will be able to conserve market share through innovations in materials and production technology.
The report sees "particular hope" in robotic manufacturing processes and new materials platforms, especially silicon photonics.
CIR predicted that 40Gbps port shipments will begin to take off commercially by 2008. Although to date, 40Gbps modules have been used mostly in R&D and service provider trials, CIR believes that 40Gbps ports will increasingly be found on very large core routers and ultimately incorporated into Sonet/SDH equipment.
Many of the "thorny issues" involving dispersion, new materials and fibre non-linearities will have been resolved by 2008, and the price for 40Gbps modules will have gone down considerably.
The analyst firm noted that, although there have been few 40Gbps announcements in the past couple of years, some of the largest module and component manufacturers, including Avanex, CyOptics, Fujitsu, JDS, Opnext and Oki, have had 40Gbps programmes in the past which could be revived.
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