The Active Optical Cables Market Report 2010 continues its focus on several key application and bus interface segments that are expected to generate significant business over the next five years. Our focus remains with the core AOC cable OEMs as well as their underlying material suppliers (i.e., fiber-optic cable, VCSELs, optical detector/PIN diodes, and connectors) and customers. The 2010 version is expanded to include Intel’s recently announced Light Peak product.
The bus interface focus has been modified slightly from last year. InfiniBand, HDMI, USB, and DisplayPort are still included in the analysis. The report includes new markets such as SAS and CXP. Forecasts for DisplayPort AOC have been reduced dramatically, due in part to overall sluggishness reported by other research companies by the major PC OEMs supporting this alternative to HDMI for computer display links.
The importance of optical IO connections continues to grow. In the past year, we have seen IO cable bandwidth increase at the expense of copper cable length restrictions, with reductions in maximum allowable length for the latest forms of USB, HDMI, and DisplayPort. More and more HPC clients also report preference for optical InfiniBand cables above the 5-7 meter length. All applications users are noting the thicker, bulkier copper cables now required to address bandwidth and power delivery issues, making the opportunity for active optical cables that much stronger. For example, some supercomputers have shifted from all copper to all AOC.