Silicon photonic devices comprise of the optical systems that use silicon as the optical medium. Since, silicon is used as a substrate for most ICs, it is easily possible to manufacture hybrid devices in which electronic as well as the optic components are incorporated on a single microchip. Thus, owing to their combined electronic properties, the potential of electro-optic and optoelectronic interactions of electrons and photons is added. This results in electrical excitation and manipulation of light as well as optical conversion to electrical signals. Therefore, they are increasingly used in data transfer between microchips, through optical rays. Also, they are capable of carrying large amount of data in less time as compared to the electrical conductors.
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Cloud computing performance needs for data center, rapidly growing internet traffic, and reducing bandwidth are some of the major factors driving the growth of the silicon photonic market. The silicon photonic technology uses lasers to transfer data into light pulses. Thus, features such as high density of interconnects, low environmental footprint, high optical functions integration, and low error rate are other factors accountable for the growth of the market in different end-use industries including military and aerospace, metrology and sensors, and healthcare among others.
The key restraint affecting the silicon photonics market include the high power consumption of laser devices that generate infrared beams and carry data through it. Since, silicon is not very effective for lasing owing to thermal dissipation within the material, external lasers are required in the manufacture of photonic computers using silicon chip. However, significant investment in research and development is expected to change the scenario in the forthcoming years.
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The opportunity anticipated to boost the silicon photonics market includes its increasing demand in telecom and data communication. As the silicon photonics technology has surpassed optical and copper technologies, it is encouraged by government and regulatory authorities across the world. Also, large players with diverse product portfolios such as IBM Corporation, Intel Corporation, Cisco Systems, Inc., etc. are considerably investing in silicon photonics to capture a large market share in a relatively new market that is still at a nascent stage. Moreover, some research institutions are working on a project of direct storage of optical information on the optical chips.
The silicon photonics market can be classified on the basis of product, component, end-use industry, and geography. On the basis of product, the silicon photonics market can be segmented into optical multiplexers, transreceivers, active optic cables, optical attenuator, RF circuits, and others. On the basis of component, the silicon photonics market can be segmented into active and passive components. The active components can be further sub segmented into optical waveguide, splitters, and isolators. Similarly, the passive components can be sub segmented into optical modulator, photo detector, and others. On the basis of end-use industry, the silicon photonics market can be segmented into healthcare, consumer electronics, defense, telecom, data communication, and others. On the basis of geography, the silicon photonics market can be segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific (APAC), Middle East & Africa (MEA), and South America. North America is expected to be a highly attractive region contributing to the silicon photonics market owing to the advanced technology adoption as well support from government in launching silicon photonic products in the region.
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Prominent players operating in the silicon photonics market include Infinera Corporation, OneChip Photonics Inc., NeoPhotonics Corporation, Mellanox Technologies, Inc., Skorpios technologies Inc., Cisco Systems, Inc., Luxtera, Inc., Intel Corporation, Keopsys Group, Finisar Corporation, Hamamatsu Photonics K.K., IBM Corporation, STMicroelectronics N.V. and Aurrion, Inc.