E2O Communications Inc. plans to announce Monday that it's sampling 4-Gbit/s transceivers, joining what could become a crowd of vendors preparing for 2004 production.
The company joins Infineon Technologies AG (NYSE/Frankfurt: IFX) in announcing 4-Gbit/s parts (see Infineon Samples 4-Gig FC Optics). They've gotten a jump on other likely competitors such as Agilent Technologies Inc. (NYSE: A), Finisar Corp. (Nasdaq: FNSR), and JDS Uniphase Corp. (Nasdaq: JDSU; Toronto: JDU), but so far it appears everyone will ship at around the same time.
E2O and Infineon expect volume shipments to begin in the first half of 2004. Agilent, which hasn't divulged its 4-Gbit/s plans yet, expects to be shipping around the same time, says Shuo Zhang, the company's marketing manager for enterprise optics.
The picture is less clear on the electronics side, where only PMC-Sierra Inc. (Nasdaq: PMCS) has announced 4-Gbit/s chips (see PMC-Sierra Debuts 4-Gig FC Chips). "The 4-Gbit/s Fibre Channel is not gated by the optics. It's gated by the IC industry," Zhang says.
Like Infineon, E2O is basing its transceivers on 850nm Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSELs). E2O plans to offer both small form factor pluggable (SFP) and small form factor fixed (SFF) transceivers.