The tilting point beyond which 100 Gbps optoelectronics become dominant in dense wavelength-division multiplexing (DWDM) networking applications worldwide is likely to come at some time in 2012, according to an analyst.
Jimmy Yu Sr, director of optical transport research at Dell'Oro Group, explains that 40 Gbps optoelectronics remain the most in-demand at present in terms of maximum data transfer speeds.
"This doesn't mean that there's no demand for 100 Gbps; we think 100 Gbps DWDM shipments will also grow," says Mr Yu.
But he adds that late 2012 is likely to see the faster networking protocol adopted in large volumes as its price dips below that of 40 Gbps infrastructure for the first time.
In 2014, DWDM optical transport revenues are expected to near $10 billion (£6.4 billion) with 40 and 100 Gbps equipment together accounting for around a third of this.
The year so far has already proved positive for other networking markets, including Fibre Channel switches, for which Dell'Oro reported strong growth in the first quarter despite already significant increases posted at the end of 2009.