BOSTON, June 25 -- Integrated Circuits (ICs) used in optical switches will represent a $ 5.4 billion market opportunity by 2006, according to Pioneer Consulting's latest report, "Optical Chips: Enabling Technologies and Markets from Semiconductors to MEMS, Nano-Optics and Photonic Crystals." According to the report, MEMS (micro electromechanical systems) chips, manufactured by companies such as Agilent, Silicon Light Machines, Network Photonics and Umachines, offer a clear challenge to semiconductor-based ICs in the small port count, optical switch market. In addition, advances in MEMS technology are expected to extend the challenge to larger optical switches. Nanotechnology has been recently heralded by some as a disruptive, breakthrough technology that will eventually sound the death knell of semiconductor-based components used in optical networking. "Moore's first law that roughly states that the number of transistors on a semiconductor-based chip doubles every two years or so is not played out by any means," according to Paul Kellett, senior director of research at Pioneer. "This suggests that the dominance of semiconductor- based chips will continue for some time to come." More information, including an abridged version of the executive summary or selected exhibits, is available www.pioneerconsulting.com.