Ethernet semiconductor vendors will continue to reap benefits from existing fast Ethernet (FE) and gigabit Ethernet (GE) product lines during the 2007-2012 forecast period. However, the more attractive opportunity is the embedded Ethernet applications segment, particularly blade switching and storage networking. With a worldwide CAGR of 6.3% through 2011, this segment will encourage the long-awaited adoption of 10GE technology and provide additional, more robust revenue streams.
According to IDC, key trends of the Ethernet semiconductor market include:
- Niche applications, such as blade servers and storage, will encourage 10GE adoption into the wider Ethernet marketplace.
- The transition from FE to GE will continue in the short term, and revenue opportunities exist particularly in the switch/PHY chipset segment.
- The widespread transition from GE to 10GE will occur in the latter half of the forecast.
Companies such as Broadcom, Marvell, and Intel, which already lead the Ethernet semiconductor market (according to the IDC report, Worldwide Ethernet Semiconductor 2006 Vendor Shares, IDC #208074), will face numerous opportunities to increase their market share as 10GE adoption ramps. Even companies that have not played traditionally in the Ethernet semiconductor market will have ample opportunity if they offer solutions for Ethernet embedded applications.