EUGENE, OR--(Marketwire - Mar 5, 2012) - Sales of optical components and modules increased by 7% in 2011, after spiking by 36% in 2010. Very high growth of this market in 2010, followed by a slowdown in early 2011, raised concerns of a potential market bubble among investors. However, sales of many products ramped up nicely in the second half of 2011, pulling the overall market back into positive territory.

Among the major market segments, sales of FTTx modules grew the fastest, increasing 23% for the year. Sharp increase in shipments of GPON transceivers in China and first meaningful sales of 10 Gbps PON modules accounted for most of the growth.

Ethernet transceiver market, which remains the largest segment with more than $850 million in annual sales, grew by 8% in 2011. This growth was slightly tempered because of weaker-than-expected sales of 40GigE and 100GigE products. However, more than 4 million of SFP+ transceivers were sold in 2011, as demand for 10GigE optics in datacenters remains strong.

Sales of Fiber Channel transceivers fell by 11% for the year, after a very fast growth in 2010. Strong sales of 16 Gbps modules in late 2011 compensated for weakness in sales of lower speed products.

WDM and SONET/SDH market segments were up 12% and down 3% for the year, respectively. This weaker than expected performance is related to a drop in shipments of 10 Gbps and 40 Gbps SONET/SDH and DWDM interface modules. However, sales of CWDM transceivers are up sharply, including first significant shipments of 10G products.

"Despite somewhat weak sales of many high-end products, the broader transceiver market remained steady in 2011," commented Vladimir Kozlov, founder and CEO of LightCounting. "Demand for optics remains strong in datacenters, as well as access and metro networks. Weaker than expected sales of high data rate transceivers in the second half of 2011 are probably related to many new products developed by component vendors in 2011 and introduced in early 2012. Having too many options to choose from complicates purchasing decisions, but we expect that the market will return to double-digit growth in 2012."

Detailed analysis of the optical communications market, based on confidential sales data provided by more than 20 leading vendors, is presented in a new LightCounting Market Update report to be released on March 26, 2012: Preview of the sales database is available now.

LightCounting at OFC/NFOEC 2012:
The LightCounting team will be at OFC/NFOEC 2012 at the Los Angeles Convention Center from March 6-8, 2012. Learn more about trends in Optical Ethernet and the Data Center during two panel presentations to be hosted during the exhibition.

Lighting Up the Data Center
March 6, 2012 from 3:30-5:00 pm PT
Theatre II, LA Convention Center

Next-Generation 100G Optical Ethernet
March 7, 2012 from 1:00-2:00 pm PT
Theatre II, LA Convention Center

About LightCounting:
LightCounting, LLC, a leading optical communications market research company, offers semi-annual market update, forecast and state of the industry reports based on analysis of publicly available information and confidential data provided by more 20 leading module and component vendors. LightCounting is the optical communications market's source for accurate, detailed and relevant information necessary for doing business in today's highly competitive market environment. Privately held, LightCounting is headquartered in Eugene, Oregon. For more information, go to: or follow us on Twitter at: