Silicon Photonics Forecast 2022-2028


  • The silicon photonics market is forecasted to grow to more than US$600 million in 2028 at a 44% CAGR 22-28*.
  • Intel, Cisco, Broadcom, AyarLabs, GlobalFoundries… the landscape is evolving, characterized by continuous R&D, strategic alliances, and collaborations.
  • Intel remains the market leader in datacom, with 61% market share in shipments and revenue, followed by Cisco and Broadcom.
  • Innovation seems to involve monolithic integration using quantum dot lasers.


Since 1985, silicon photonics has advanced significantly, evolving from high-confinement waveguides to a dominant transceiver technology. There is still active development in diverse applications, especially in data centers for AI and ML . The demand for faster applications and computations, coupled with the limitations of current computing architectures, has propelled silicon photonics into focus. Broadcom’s projections indicate substantial growth, acting as a catalyst for networking applications.


Silicon photonics is versatile, finding immediate use in data centers – dominated by Intel – and telecommunications, exemplified by Acacia. Other applications like optical LiDAR , medical uses, and quantum computing show promise but face challenges.


In its new report, Silicon Photonics 2023Yole Intelligence provides context for why silicon photonics attracts huge attention for optical interconnects and other applications and details the silicon photonics applications in DC networks. The company, part of Yole Group, provides market forecasts and shares, detailed supply chain analyses, and technological trends. This study also reviews the optical transceiver industry, with a particular focus on China; it reveals the techniques for attaching a laser to a silicon PIC and identifies the crucial challenges that must be solved to make the next giant step in CMOS -foundry-compatible devices, circuits, integration, and packaging.


Martin Vallo, Ph.D.,Senior Analyst, Photonics, specializing in optical communication and semiconductor lasers within the Photonics and Sensing division at Yole Intelligence: “The silicon photonics market, valued at US$68 million in 2022, is forecasted to exceed US$600 million in 2028, driven by high-data-rate modules and the increasing use of optical I/O in ML servers for scaling models with light.”


The silicon photonics industry is shaped by a diverse array of participants, including major vertically integrated players like Intel, Cisco, Marvell, Broadcom, Nvidia, and IBM, along with startups/design houses such as AyarLabs, OpenLight, Lightmatter, and Lightelligence. Research institutions like UCSB, Columbia University, Stanford Engineering, CEA Leti, A*Star and MIT contribute significantly, as do foundries like GlobalFoundries, Tower Semiconductor, imec, and TSMC, and equipment suppliers like Applied Materials, ASML, and Aixtron. Intel stands out as a leader, investing heavily in R&D, while numerous startups focus on specific applications or novel technologies…


Eric Mounier, Ph.D.,Fellow Analyst at Yole Intelligence: “The silicon photonics industry is characterized by continuous research and development, strategic partnerships, and growing accessibility through silicon photonics foundries. Its potential to enhance data transfer speeds, reduce energy consumption, and enable various applications positions it as a promising area for industrial growth.”


In datacom, Intel holds a 61% market share in shipments and revenue, followed by Cisco, Broadcom, and other smaller companies. However, with strengthened portfolios and commercialization from other players, Intel’s dominance is expected to diminish. In telecom, Cisco (Acacia) commands nearly 50% market share, trailed by Lumentum (Neophotonics) and Marvell (Inphi), with the market being driven by coherent pluggable ZR/ZR+ modules.




*Forecasts have been substantially revised downward compared to the Silicon Photonics report, 2022 edition. Shipments of silicon photonics-based products have seen a notable decrease, primarily attributed to reduced adoption in datacom applications. This is compounded by a careful revision of the manufacturing yield and the average selling price of silicon photonic devices. Yole Group now excludes the tunable laser in the PIC circuit for telecom. Consequently, these adjusted estimations impact the silicon photonics forecast between 2023 and 2028.


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