Silicon Photonics Market Foreseen to Grow exponentially over 2015 to 2021

Silicon Photonics Market: Global Industry Analysis and Forecast 2015 – 2021
Silicon photonics refers to the application of photonic systems using silicon as an optical medium.
The silicon material used in such photonic systems is designed with sub micrometer precision and is
deployed into the microphotonic components. The silicon photonics systems works at the
wavelength of 1.55 micrometer that falls under the infrared spectrum and is most commonly used
for optical communications. Silicon photonics combines technologies such as complementary metal
oxide semiconductor (CMOS), micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) and 3D Stacking. The
basic operation of silicon photonics includes the transfer of data as optical rays between the
computer chips. Silicon photonics is basically an approach for designing optical devices using
silicon and use photons to transfer enormous data at high speeds. Additionally, this technology
enables data transfer at low power consumption over an optical fiber. Moreover, silicon photonics
satisfies the mounting need of high data transfer rate and enhances the capabilities such as
computational and processing needs of data centers.
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Pressing bandwidth, cloud computing performance needs for data centers, virtualization, fastgrowing internet traffic and other intensive data are the key factors driving the growth of silicon
photonics market. Silicon photonics are majorly used in telecom, datacom, consumer applications
(connecting laptops, PCs, HDTVs), datacenters and high performance computers, commercial
video, metrology and sensors, medical, military and aerospace. Data communication is one of the
major market share holders and it dwarfs all other silicon photonics application. In addition,
features such as low environmental footprint, low heating of components, low operating cost, high
optical functions integration, high density of interconnects, low error rate and spectral efficiency are
adding value to the silicon photonics products. Thus, these factors are expected to drive the market
of silicon photonics in the coming years. However, the major challenges such as technical
mismatches with high volume markets and availability of substitute technologies such as verticalcavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) are expected to hinder the growth of silicon photonics
The silicon photonics based systems deploy several components such as wavelength division
multiplexer filters, optical modulators, optical interconnects, silicon photonic waveguides, silicon
LED's and silicon photo-detectors. The silicon photonics systems exhibits physical properties such
as optical guiding and dispersion tailoring, Kerr non-linearity, two-photon absorption, free charge
carrier interaction, second order non-linearity and the Raman effect. These properties govern the
propagation of light through an optical medium. Silicon photonics technology is used for providing
optical interconnects, optical routing and signal processing. Moreover, with technological
advancement it is expected that this technology will widely be deployed for long range
communication applications over the coming years. Silicon phonics finds its applications in several
industries such telecommunications, IT, sensing and metrology, healthcare, consumer electronics
and displays, and research and development.
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Countries with high level of technology adoption and advancement across North America and
Europe are the leading markets for silicon photonics. Moreover, Asia Pacific market is expected to
witness rapid technological upgrades and thus serves as an opportunity for this market in the
coming years. The ongoing use of silicon for developing integrated circuits and the compatibility of
silicon photonics technology with the existing fabrication techniques encourages several research
institutes and large players in the electronic manufacturing industry to adopt silicon photonics
technology. Leading players in silicon photonics market are Luxtera, Molex Inc., Mellanox
Technologies, Northrop Grumman, Global Foundries, Altis, Texas Instruments, BAE Systems,
TSMC, Avago Technologies, LightWire, Intel, Teraxion, Infinera, Color Chip, Fujitsu, Cisco, HP,
IBM, NTT, Oracle, Leti, imec, ePIXfab, Scorpios Technologies, Caliopa and Aurrion among others.