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Chip-Level Optical Interconnect Market Could Generate $520 Million by 2019

Chip-Level Optical Interconnect Market Could Generate $520 Million by 2019

Research and Markets has released “Revenue Opportunities for Optical Interconnects: Market and Technology Forecast – 2013 to 2020 Vol II: On-Chip and Chip-to-Chip.”

According to the report, the addressable market for chip-level optical interconnects could eventually run into billions of units and revenues in this market will total almost $520 million by 2019 going on to reach $1.02 billion by 2021. The report covers four kinds of chip-level interconnects: optical engines, photonic integrated circuit (PIC)-based interconnects, silicon photonics, and free-space optics.

The growing popularity of parallel computing and the arrival of multicore processors and 3D chips are leading to data traffic jams both on-chip and chip-to-chip. However, these trends are also creating opportunities for chip-level optical interconnects. Avago, Finisar, IBM, and Samtec have all proposed optical engines for chip-level interconnects. These miniaturized optical assemblies are currently the most mature technology available for this application and will generate revenues of $235 million in 2019. However, with their attached connectors and heat sinks, optical engines may prove too large for complex optical interconnection environments, such as in the coming generation of Exascale supercomputers.

Because of the limitations of optical engines, there are emerging opportunities for compact PIC- based interconnect devices based on indium phosphide and gallium arsenide. The author says these opportunities will generate $120 million in 2019 increasing to $275 million by 2021. However, bonding PIC interconnects onto a silicon processor or memory chip is both technically challenging and expensive. So far, only a few PIC and VCSEL technology companies have pursued the interconnect opportunity.

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Copyright (C) 2013 LexisNexis, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All Rights Reserved. 

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