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GIA Publishes Report on Global Active Optical Cable Markets

January 13, 2015

Global Industry Analysts, Inc. (GIA), a leading market research firm, recently published its comprehensive report on Active Optical Cable (AOC) markets under the title "Active Optical Cables: A Global Market Report." The worldwide market for AOC is expected to exceed $1 billion by 2018 and $2 billion by 2020 as demand for higher bandwidth speeds continues to rise and further advancements are made with fiber optics technology.

The steadily improving performance of fiber optic cables over the past few years has generated demand for active fiber optics, a technology in which cable ends are fitted with electrical-to-optical converters for more efficient and faster data transmission speeds without need for much infrastructure adjustment. Major advantages over conventional copper cables include lower signal processing, enhanced signal integrity, improved airflow through smaller conduits, more flexible routability and a wider reach. 

GIA's research found that the United States represents the largest market for AOC in the world, and the Asia-Pacific region is projected to be the fastest growing market in the next few years with a CAGR of 58.6 percent. It should be noted that Japan was considered a separate region from Asia-Pacific for the purposes of the report; the full list of regional divisions are: the U.S., Canada, Europe (divided into France, Germany, Italy, U.K., Spain, Russia and Rest of Europe), Japan, Asia-Pacific (divided into China and Rest of Asia-Pacific), the Middle East and Rest of World.

The most important businesses operating in the AOC market are the 3M Company, Avago Technologies, the Emcore Corp., FCI SA, Fujikura Ltd., Hitachi Metals Ltd., the Siemon Co. and Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd. Although many smaller companies dabble in the market, this list represents the cutting edge of AOC technology.

Currently, the largest end-use application in the global AOC market is data centers, driven by the necessity of higher bandwidth. However, GIA expects the technology to gain momentum in other sectors such as personal computing, digital signage and home theater. Existing capacity can be expanded with AOC, making it an ideal response to the explosive growth of Internet traffic worldwide and related surge in demand for data services.

The major global market drivers, as reported by GIA and in descending order of significance, are: the telecom sector's shift toward faster optical networks, technological advancements (such as eAOC, which stands for embedded AOC), an increase in number and size of data centers and server farms, growing adoption of the technology in the digital signage market, an increasingly urgent need for higher bandwidth and expanding Internet infrastructure. These factors represent the main forces behind expanding AOC adoption.

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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