Market Conditions Pose Daunting Challenges to Tunable Laser Suppliers

Nov. 12, 2001
The competitive situation and financial condition of telecom carriers have severely delayed the market for tunable lasers, tunable filters, and wavelength converters. In recent months, carriers have sharply reduced their capital expenditures for next-generation networking equipment

The competitive situation and financial condition of telecom carriers have severely delayed the market for tunable lasers, tunable filters, and wavelength converters. In recent months, carriers have sharply reduced their capital expenditures for next-generation networking equipment. Continued strides are being made in laser performance and manufacturing cost, but according to a new report from Strategies Unlimited, these improvements will not suffice for the rapid adoption of wavelength-agile devices. Rather, device manufacturers will have to "fine-tune" their wavelength-agile products to the particular economic and technical requirements of distinct applications in order to succeed in a period of carrier malaise.

Tunable Lasers, Filters, and Wavelength Converters: Applications and Markets-2001-2005 reports that wavelength-agile devices offer considerable promise for cost savings and improved network performance. The market for these devices is expected to reach $1 billion by 2005. For the near term, however, the market remains stalled.

Currently, wavelength-agile devices are used primarily for test and measurement purposes, but new applications are emerging. A few startup network suppliers such as Atoga Systems and Cinta Networks have introduced innovative new products based on tunable lasers, and mainstream network suppliers such as Fujitsu, Ciena, and Alcatel have deployed equipment using narrowly-tunable lasers. The report analyzes ten network equipment suppliers initiating field trials of equipment employing tunable lasers in different applications.

Wavelength-agile devices help address six key challenges facing network operators and equipment providers:

-- Reduce carriers' inventory of spare line cards

-- Lower operating costs by introducing 1:N channel protection

schemes

-- Reduce manufacturers' in-process inventories

-- Allow dynamic provisioning with optical add-drop multiplexers

-- Provide for wavelength conversion in photonic cross-connects

-- Monitor optical channels

-- Facilitate optical packet switching

Each of these challenges presents a unique set of technical requirements such as the breadth, speed, and precision required for tuning. Additionally, each application presents a unique set of economic requirements. By examining in detail the economics and the technical needs of each application, the report constructs realistic scenarios for the adoption of tunable lasers, tunable filters, and wavelength converters. An understanding of these scenarios will help the players to develop optimal product roll-out strategies, as well as creating realistic expectations among investors and potential customers.

The promise of tunable lasers has been delayed by the current downturn in the telecommunication market, causing considerable stress for tunable laser vendors. Unscheduled private placements and retrenchment are "signs of the times" within pre-public ventures such as Agility Communications and Bandwidth 9, as well as established vendors such as Alcatel Optronics, Agere Systems, and Fujitsu. All companies, and in particular the early-stage startups such as ChiLight Technologies, Fiberspace, and Princeton Optronics, will require tight coordination of R&D, business development, and production activities in order to succeed. The report describes how the players are responding to the market situation and identifies key factors that will help determine success.

Tunable Lasers, Tunable Filters, Wavelength Converters: Applications and Markets-2001-2005 is available from Strategies Unlimited for $6,495. More information on the report is available by contacting Strategies Unlimited on +1 650 941-3438, or on the company's web site at http://www.strategies-u.com.

Strategies Unlimited, a member of the PennWell Advanced Technology Group, has provided market intelligence services since 1979 in optical communications, optoelectronic components, RF/wireless, compound semiconductor, and photovoltaic components industries.

Sponsored Recommendations

Request a quote: Micro 3D Printed Part or microArch micro-precision 3D printers

April 11, 2024
See the results for yourself! We'll print a benchmark part so that you can assess our quality. Just send us your file and we'll get to work.

Request a Micro 3D Printed Benchmark Part: Send us your file.

April 11, 2024
See the results for yourself! We'll print a benchmark part so that you can assess our quality. Just send us your file and we'll get to work.

Request a free Micro 3D Printed sample part

April 11, 2024
The best way to understand the part quality we can achieve is by seeing it first-hand. Request a free 3D printed high-precision sample part.

How to Tune Servo Systems: The Basics

April 10, 2024
Learn how to tune a servo system using frequency-based tools to meet system specifications by watching our webinar!

Voice your opinion!

To join the conversation, and become an exclusive member of Laser Focus World, create an account today!