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Booming Market Seen for Photonic Switches
Feb 2001
SAN MATEO, Calif., Feb. 13 -- Global consumption of photonic switches and switch matrices will rise dramatically from $308 million in 2000 to over $16 billion in 2010 says a report from the ElectroniCast Corp. This rise will be driven by the rapid expansion of fiber optic transport and access networks, mainly in telecommunications. The private data network as well as the specialty/instrumentation and military/aerospace market segments will also continue to be major switch users. Most of the 2000 switch market value consisted of simple, conventional switches such as 1x2, 2x2 and 1xN configurations.
    "The future growth of photonic switching, however, will be dominated in dollar value by complex switch matrix systems, but in quantity by conventional switches," ElectroniCast chairman Jeff D. Montgomery said.
    Leading consumption and production in 2000, North America represented 81 percent of global photonic switch and matrix consumption value at $250 million. North America was also a major net exporter of these in 2000. While the North American relative market share will decline to 75 percent, the value will increase to over $12 billion by 2010.
    The global consumption of photonic switch-based balanced I/O switching matrices plus MxN matrices in 2000 is estimated modestly at $111.9 million. This includes merchant market sales plus captive production for vertical integration into equipment production. This will rapidly grow, averaging 66 percent per year, reaching $1.4 billion in 2005. Significant growth will continue, at an average of 47 percent per year, reaching $9.61 billion by 2010.
    "This growth will be driven by the need to implement switch functions that do not limit the capabilities of the optical fiber. Current O-E-O switch limitations include limited data rate, sensitivity to data protocol, complexity and cost for multiple wavelengths, high power consumption, and the inability to transparently pass all of the optical signals on the fiber. In addition, improvement in technology and manufacturing, such as MEMS-based solid state switch maturation, will provide higher performance, higher reliability, smaller size, low power consumption photonic switches; low power consumption photonic switches at a significantly lower cost per channel," Montgomery said.

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