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Silicon Photonics Market & Technologies 2011-2017: Big Investments, Small Business

Notes

Multi-user license: the report can be used by unlimited users within the company. Subsidiaries and Joint-Ventures are not included.

Silicon photonics has huge market potential, if the current constraints that affect cost can be leveraged

OPTICS, CMOS, MEMS 3DICs : CONVERGING INTO A NEW BREED OF PHOTONIC DEVICES

Silicon photonics has tremendous potential as a new technology, blending optical technology with low cost CMOS semiconductor processing. Silicon photonics is a disruptive technology that enables a new breed of monolithic opto-electronic devices.

The goal is to deliver economic optical connectivity everywhere, from network level to intra-system level, and eventually to chip-to-chip.

Today, except for the light source, all other optical functions(modulators, detection, waveguides, intelligence ...) can be embedded wafer-level at the SOI substrate.

Silicon photonics addresses different kind of devices such as:

  • Individual components & subcomponents: used as a single function silicon photonics device, e.g. VOA, Mux/Demux, active filters, optical switches or as optical engines combining optics and electronics.
  • Transceiver-type products: embedded optical modules, transmitters/receivers, active optical cables.
  • Future products: e.g. hybrid packaged devices and 3DICs / Integrated opto-electronic chips.

Moreover, passive optical elements (such as array wave guides, optical filters, couplers, splitters, polarizer arrays) can be created with silicon photonics technologies and integrated with active elements.

In the report, we distinguish between Silicon photonics, CMOS photonics, Hybrid silicon photonics, and III-V integrated photonics. Silicon photonics has been restrained to R&D labs for a long time, but now the first Silicon photonics products have shipped and an industrial infrastructure has been set up step-by-step.

Figure 1: silicon photonics application TAM

DATA COMMUNICATION WILL DWARF ALL OTHER SI APPLICATIONS

Although silicon photonics can address a wide range of applications, very few companies are actually shipping products.

The potential markets are:

  • Telecom: Metro and long haul applications
  • Datacom: Data centers and campus applications
  • Consumer: Connect desktop PC devices and PCs with HDTVs
  • HPC & Data Centers: Using AOCs or Embedded Modules
  • Professional/Commercial Video: Digital signage, digital cinemas, video recording and studios
  • Metrology and Sensors: Measurement of time, temperature, sound, frequency, stress, range using special silicon photonics sensors
  • Medical: DNA, glucose, molecular and cellular analysis, etc... using special silicon photonics sensors
  • Military/Aerospace/Scientific: Scientific instruments at corporate and national labs; aircraft, space missile, radar, imaging, intelligence applications

Data communications is the big market and will dwarf all other silicon photonics applications. Indeed, major datacom protocols are all moving to high-speed signaling and passing 10Gbps where reach and signal integrity issues are surfacing for both copper and optical technologies. There is a clear trend to surpass 25Gb in datacom protocols and this is where Si photonics will make sense.

The need will be driven by:

  • Need for low cost, high-speed interconnects supporting ever increasing data rates at and beyond 25Gbps
  • Need for reach distance / data rate not served by VCSELs

BIG CHALLENGES AHEAD

Silicon photonics still faces big industrial and technical challenges:

  • Few products today
  • Few companies have developed integrated product solutions
  • High cost
  • CAE/CAD programs are almost non-existent
  • Technical mismatch
  • Competition with VCSEL-based alternatives
  • Need for high volumes

Figure 2: Si photonics market forecast

For several years now, the silicon photonics projects have been under the umbrella of large-scale R&D projects to set up roadmaps. Today, MPW services foundries are opening and more industrial foundry activities are set up. Generic technologies and generic production platforms are needed to achieve low cost/high volume. As the future lays in the separation of design and fabrication, this industry is looking for an electronics-like foundry model. The mapping of the players involved in silicon photonics already shows an important number of foundry services.

Figure 3: Si photonics players mapping

Although the industry is trying to use as much as possible of the existing CMOS processes, 3D Ics technologies will contribute to the Si photonics, especially wafer bonding and 3D interconnects.

Although the market will grow by a factor of 3 in 5 years, business could explode after 2020 as inter and intra-chip communications could make this market grow by a factor of 10!

BENEFITS:

KEY FEATURES OF THE REPORT

This report gives an overview of the silicon photonics markets, technologies and players. We also include a financial analysis that shows the latest VC funds.

The report includes:

  • What is silicon photonics? What are the applications?
  • What are the challenges are on the applications/technologies side?
  • Silicon photonics forecast by applications 2010-2017
  • Manufacturing challenges
  • Roadmaps
  • Profiles of players involved in silicon photonics

WHO SHOULD READ THE REPORT

  • Integrators
    • Understand the potential of the silicon photonics
    • Understand the technical challenges
  • Financial & strategic investors
    • Understand the main market dynamics and main technology trends
    • Get the list of the key players
  • Devices makers
    • Identify and evaluate silicon photonics markets with market size & growth potential
    • Analyze the threats and opportunities
    • Monitor and benchmark competitor's advancements
    • Evaluate you potential as a silicon photonics player
  • Financial & strategic investors
    • Understand the main market dynamics and main technology trends
    • Get the list of the key players

COMPANY INDEX

Altera, Altis, AML, Apple, Aurrion, Avago, BAE Systems, Caliopia, CEA Leti, Chiral Photonics, Cisco, ColorChip, Cyoptics/InPlane, DAS Photonics, Effect Photonics, Enablence, ePIXfab, EuroPIC, EVGroup, Fraunhofer HHI, Freescale, Ghent University, IHP Microelectronics, Fujitsu, Genalyte, Helios, HP Labs, IBM, IME (A*STAR), IMEC, Infinera, Intel, IPKISS, JePPIX, Kotura, Cisco/LightWire, LioniX, Luxtera, MIT, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Molex, NeoPhotonics, Northrop Grumman, NTT, Nvidia, Oclaro, OneChip Photonics, OPSIS SYSTEM, Oracle, PECST, Photline, Sandia, Skorpios Technologies, STM, Sun, SUSS MicroTec, TEEM Photonics, TI, TSMC, U2t photonics, UCSB, Stanford University, VLC Photonics, Xilinx, XIO Photonics.

BIO

Dr. Eric Mounier, cofounder of Yole Développement, is in charge of market analysis for MEMS, equipment & material. He is Chief Editor of MEMSTrends & Micronews magazines. Before joining Yole Développement, Eric worked as a market analyst at CEA Leti. He has a PhD in microelectronics from the INPG in Grenoble.

Brad Smith, has 30 years of industry experience in both optical and semiconductors, as well as in marketing, business development and market research. He was president and cofounder of Nexgen sold to and LuxSonar Semiconductors sold to Cirrus Logic. His market research experience comes from LightCounting, RHK, Gartner and Dataquest.

Antoine Bonnabel, Market Analyst, works as market analyst for MEMS devices and technologies at Yole Développement. He holds a M.Sc. In microelectronics and microsystems from Grenoble Institute of Technologies and a M.Sc in marketing and business management from Grenoble Graduate School of Business.

Table of Contents

ABOUT THE AUTHORS

TABLE OF CONTENT

COMPANIES LISTED IN THE REPORT

WHAT'S INSIDE THE REPORT, WHAT'S NOT

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

  • The (few) key facts to remember about silicon photonics
  • Silicon photonics definition
  • Silicon photonics market
  • Silicon photonics advantages
  • Silicon photonics time-to-market
  • Inflection points for silicon photonics
  • Silicon photonics devices
  • Silicon photonics application revenues
  • Silicon photonics dies market forecast
  • Silicon photonics wafer forecast
  • Why silicon photonics only in AOCs today
  • Technical challenges

INTRODUCTION

  • Silicon photonics definition
  • Focus on III-V integrated photonics
  • Focus on silicon photonics

INDUSTRY DRIVING FORCES

  • Roadmaps
  • Datacom protocols roadmap

APPLICATIONS

  • Applications summary
  • Telecom
  • Datacom
  • HPC & Data Centers
  • Consumer
  • Others (Military/Aerospace/Medical)

MARKET FORECAST

  • Silicon photonics TAM
  • Optical components market forecast
  • Silicon photonics applications revenues 2010-2017
  • Silicon photonics 2012 revenues by application
  • Silicon photonics 2017 revenues by application
  • Active vs. passive silicon photonics revenues 2010-2017
  • Silicon photonics products breakdown
  • Silicon photonics dies market forecast
  • Silicon photonics wafer forecast
  • Estimated 2011 market share

SILICON PHOTONICS PLAYERS

  • Evolution of the business model
  • Silicon photonics foundries

FINANCIAL ANALYSIS

  • Raised funds by company
  • Relative investment efficiency

THE DIFFERENT MANUFACTURING APPROACHES

  • Photonic in standard CMOS
  • Laser sources vs. VCSELs
  • The different approaches to Si photonics integration
  • The different bonding technologies
  • Design & packaging issues
  • A new approach:2.5 and 3D

THE INTEGRATED PHOTONICS «BUILDING BLOCKS»

  • Summary
  • Light sources
  • Modulators
  • Detectors
  • Mux/Demux
  • Couplers
  • Passive devices
  • Others

CONCLUSIONS

PROFILES

  • Summary
  • Aurrion
  • CEA Leti
  • Cisco (Lightwire)
  • ColorChip
  • Cyoptics
  • Enablence
  • ePIXfab
  • ePIXnet
  • HP Labs
  • IBM
  • IMEC/Ghent University
  • Infinera
  • Intel Labs
  • Kotura
  • Luxtera
  • NeoPhotonics
  • NTT
  • OneChip Photonics
  • OpSIS
  • Oracle/Sun
  • PECST
  • STM
  • UCSB

APPENDIX

  • Yole Développement presentation
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