SAN MATEO, Calif., July -- According to a new ElectroniCast study, the global consumption of optical attenuators in 2000 was $310.6 million. The consumption value will increase at a strong pace of about 33.9 percent per year over the next five years, to $1.2 billion in 2005, with rapidly rising quantity growth substantially offset by falling average prices. Over the 2005-2010 period, the consumption value growth will continue at an average annual rate of 38.4 percent, to reach $6.96 billion. Telecom Leads Optical Attenuator Demands Optical attenuators used for telecom networks accounted for 73.5 percent of 2000 optical attenuator value, $228.4 million. The telecom share will increase to 82 percent or $1.0 billion by 2005, then increase further to 92.1 percent or $6.4 billion by 2010, as detailed in Table 1. "The steady consumption will be driven by accelerating deployment of fiber in the loop, plus the continuing demand for upgrading long-haul DWDM networks to accommodate bandwidth requirements," ElectroniCast Corporation President Stephen Montgomery said. Table 1: Global Consumption of Optical Attenuators, by Application In this ElectroniCast study, the fiber optic attenuator market is presented in segments: Panel Mount - Fixed (Includes - bulkhead, connector buildout) Cable Assembly - Fixed (Includes - jumper/pigtailed, in-line) Variable (VOA) Manual (panel mount/stand alone) Electronically controlled Solid state attenuators are electrically tunable (electronically controlled) with various methods including magneto-optic, acousto-optic and electro-optic. The amount of attenuation is dynamically variable as applied voltage is changed over its operating range. "Advantages include the fastest tuning speed and uninterrupted, inline adjustment. A high technology design, the electrically variable attenuator (VOA) disadvantage includes cost and a design that resets to zero attenuation in the event of a power loss to the tuning circuit," ElectroniCast research analyst Denise Conner said. In 2000, electronically controlled variable optic attenuators (EVOAs) held a 70 percent market share of global consumption with $219.7 million, as noted in Figure 1.