10Gbit/s Ethernet (10GE) is now a mainstream technology, and 10GE ports have been available for more than a decade. Over that period, the cost and real estate required per port has reduced substantially. Optical interfaces still dominate shipments, but the use of copper interfaces is growing quickly, with coax continuing to be used in the data center and a shift to twisted pair in both the data center and enterprise.
Physical layer (PHY) devices have been developed over the last decade to support 10GE optical interfaces and over the last five years to support 10GE over coax and twisted pair copper. There are now more than 15 10GE PHY vendors and six or seven vendors with 10GBase-T PHY devices for twisted pair copper. The introduction of highly integrated 10GE switch devices with up to 96 10GE ports accelerated the shift to 10GE. There are now four vendors shipping these highly integrated devices, although one vendor has pulled out of the race.
The success of the 10GE market has been driven by innovation from both optical module and silicon vendors. Looking forward, the position of the market leaders seems assured. The results of our survey suggest that the market leaders are delivering the service and products required by their customers. To compete, non-leading vendors must focus on niche products or look to build a strong market position for 40GE and 100GE PHY devices. Several of the smaller companies, including PHY vendors Cortina and NetLogic and optical module vendors NeoPhotonics and Opnext, are already doing this.
10GE Survey: TEMs Rate PHY, Switch & Optical Suppliers analyzes the use of 10GE PHY, switch and optical components by telecom equipment manufacturers (TEMs), based on an exclusive survey of engineers, designers, product managers and sales/marketing personnel from telecom and networking system equipment manufacturers around the world. The survey responses make it clear that these devices are critical components in many types of networking equipment, from the access edge to the core of the network.