As we look forward to 2017 it is time to peer out into the distance and think about what will happen during the year:
- 2017 will mark the beginning of the Hunger Games for high performance Optical Component Startups.
This fight to the death battle is inevitable, because there is no de-facto industry standard for 25, 50, and 100G optical interconnects. The early adopters of advanced optical interconnect are the Super Seven – and each has its own view on what the technology should look like. Some want to use multi-mode fiber while others insist on single mode. Some use QSFP and parallel fiber while others insist on WDM (wavelength division multiplexing) over single fiber SFP. Still others want to use break out or pigtailed options. This fragmentation of the market means that small manufacturers can’t develop all of these different options. And with only one major customer for each variant, it is a very dangerous game to play. Some players who are “one-trick ponies” will find themselves unable to achieve scale and maintain the investment required to compete.