Ethernet controller sales rise with transition to 100G

The worldwide market for Ethernet controllers and adapters is set for healthy growth as server performance transitions to speeds of 100Gbps and higher.

Independent analyst firm Dell’Oro has released new findings on the sector, projecting revenues to grow at a 4% compound annual growth rate in the run-up to 2025, reaching nearly $3.2 billion in overall value by that year.

“The ramp of 25 Gbps port shipments has been strong since the availability of 28 Gbps SerDes in 2016,” commented Baron Fung, Research Director with Dell’Oro. “Twenty five Gbps has already displaced 10 Gbps to become the dominant speed in revenue, as 25 Gbps gains broad adoption across cloud service providers and high-end enterprises. However, we project 100 and 200 Gbps speed ports to overtake that of 25 Gbps in revenue as early as 2023.”

Fung said that due to the exponential growth of network traffic and proliferation of cloud computing, the top 4 US cloud service providers are demanding higher server access speeds than the rest of the market: “The availability of 56 Gbps SerDes since late 2018 has prompted some of the top cloud providers to upgrade their networks to 400 Gbps, with upgrades in server network connectivity to 100 Gbps for general-purpose computing in progress,” he said. “Higher server access speeds of up to 200 Gbps, based on two lanes of 112 Gbps SerDes, could begin to ramp for general-purpose computing for the top cloud providers following network upgrades 800 Gbps as early as 2022. The increase in demand for bandwidth-hungry AI applications will continue to push the boundaries of server connectivity. Today, 100 Gbps is commonly used to interconnect accelerated servers, while general-purpose servers are connected at 25 or 50 Gbps. As 100 Gbps become the standard connection for general-purpose in several years for the major cloud providers, accelerated servers may be connected at twice the data rate at 200 Gbps.

In a different report, Dell’Oro has forecast that Multi-Access Edge Computing (MEC) investments will grow at a 140% over the next five years.

“The cumulative five-year investment in MEC is expected to be $11bn,” stated David Bolan, Research Director at Dell’Oro Group. “Though the CAGR is the same as our previous forecast, the cumulative forecast has decreased due to a slower than anticipated wide-scale launches of 5G standalone networks. This may be due to 5G service providers investigating the role that public cloud service providers could play in their networks.”

By Guy Matthews

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