Cignal AI: 400ZR module shipments could triple this year

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Network component and equipment market research firm Cignal AI has released its Transport Applications Report for the fourth quarter of 2021.

Amongst the key findings, the report detailed that shipments of 400ZR/ZR+ modules surged in the final quarter of last year, as Cisco (Acacia) and Marvell rapidly scaled production capacity. However, the report also noted that demand from cloud operators is still exceeding supply, which will be increased this year as vendors such as Ciena, Neophotonics, and II-VI grow production. 

Cignal AI said that it expects shipments of 400ZR/ZR+ modules to triple this year as cloud operators such as Microsoft, Amazon, and Google are joined by traditional network operators such as AT&T, Windstream, and Colt rolling out high volume deployments. According to Scott Wilkinson, lead optical component analyst at Cignal AI: ‘Both webscale and telco operators are making fundamental changes to their network architectures due to the availability of pluggable 400G coherent modules. Module shipments are ramping up quickly, with more than half of all shipments to date coming in the fourth quarter.’

Vendors examined include Adtran, Adva, Ciena, Cisco, Ekinops, Fujitsu, Huawei, Infinera, Marvell, NEC, Nokia, NTT Electronics (NEL), Ribbon and ZTE. Other report findings include the rapid growth of direct shipments of coherent ports to operators, as pluggable coherent modules reshape the supplier landscape. In addition, shipments of Gen60C pluggable 400ZR modules remain supply-constrained, with only two vendors supplying almost all of the volume to date.

The report named Ciena as the largest supplier of cutting-edge Gen90P 800G capable coherent ports, but noted that Infinera's ICE6 product shipments are also increasing rapidly.

It detailed that compact modular revenue in North America grew by more than 25 per cent in 2021 and now represents over a third of optical hardware shipped in the region, with Ciena the market leader in this category. 

According to the 4Q21 Transport Applications Report, only Huawei saw packet-OTN sales increase during 2021, although Nokia’s continuing investment in its OTN portfolio has made it the leading western vendor of OTN, and the company is best positioned, said Cignal AI, to win business from Huawei in Europe. 


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