5G is no doubt a hot key word in today's high-tech world. The disruptive changes 5G will bring are nothing like those in the times of 3G or 4G. Never-before-seen features such as network slicing, virtualization, and ultra-low latency are expected to give rise to a myriad of smart innovations which will generate enormous business value. As such, the main 5G market will target enterprise applications, unlike the 3G/4G market which focuses on consumer applications.
It is foreseeable that massive amounts of data will be generated as 5G services become available, which will be instrumental to the realization of AIoT applications. Data flow across each node, including the end devices, base stations, and core networks, will be much bigger than before and instant processing will be needed. In response, fronthaul or backhaul transmission speeds have jumped from 10Gbps to 25~50Gbps while core network transmission speeds have surged to 100Gbps, 400Gbps, and even 800Gbps. This has spurred escalating market demand for high-speed copper conductors and optical interconnects. JPC, long devoted to high-speed cabling and optical communication modules, stands to reap the benefits.
There is one more thing that is quite different between 5G and previous generations of mobile communication technologies. That is, telecom operators are more concerned about their return on 5G investment than before. This leads to the rise of Open RAN (O-RAN), OCP, ONF and other international organizations promoting open-source 5G network architecture. Originally close-ended base station technologies, resources, and devices are now being delayered and deconstructed while software and hardware are being disintegrated as well. The open trend will have a major influence on JPC.
According to JPC chairperson Shu-Mei Chang, the term "open" was hardly heard of during the times of 4G or even earlier 3G and 2G. In other words, the telecom world kept to itself. Telecom and datacom were two different worlds and their paths did not cross each other. Now with 5G O-RAN, new types of telecom operators like Japan-based Rakuten and German-based 1¡®1 Drillisch are emerging. Telecom heavyweights like AT&T are actively embracing open architectures as they will be able to freely purchase white-box servers, switches, storages and small-scale base stations to rebuild their mobile communication systems. Leveraging wireless network virtualization, they can change the traditional telecom network architecture, thereby breaking free from vendor lock-in and achieve performance and cost optimization.
The market embraces JPC's high-speed transmission products with increasing O-RAN and OCP adoption
"As O-RAN architectures and Open Compute Project (OCP) platforms get increasingly adopted, white-box equipment suppliers that had difficulty penetrating into the supply chain of the telecom industry with a history of over a hundred years now stand a chance of tapping into the new blue ocean market of 5G telecom networks," said Chang. To do so, white-box equipment suppliers need to find active optical cables (AOC) and direct attach copper cables (DAC) used to connect servers and switches, some of which need to deliver data rates as high as 400Gbps. A large quantity of fiber optic or copper cables is also required for the deployment of telecom central office infrastructure.
This presents new opportunities to JPC. The customer base of JPC had primarily included switch or server manufacturers and cloud service providers with very few white-box equipment suppliers until two years ago when JPC started to reach out to white-box equipment suppliers and system integrators (SI) in view of rising O-RAN and OCP popularity spurred by 5G and stepped up efforts to pitch JPC's high-speed transmission products to them. After a break-in period, JPC has strengthened the engagement with data center operators, equipment suppliers (including servers, switches and storage devices) and electronics manufacturing service (EMS) providers and has begun making shipments to these new customers.
What's more, growing 5G developments have also prompted distributors, value-added resellers (VAR), supercomputer suppliers, hospitals, schools and information security device vendors to actively approach JPC for partnership deals to incorporate 100G/400G high-speed transmission products to enhance their application/service performance. What this means is that enterprises or organizations that had nothing to do with JPC in the past now join its expanding customer base, allowing JPC to tap into tremendous opportunities.
Of course, these burgeoning opportunities do not come out of nowhere but result from JPC's technological strength built through two decades of efforts. Dr. Chi-Hsien Sun, in charge of JPC's product R&D for the cloud network communication component industry, noted that JPC has stay committed to enhancing its electronics development capability since 2000, transcending from traditional molding, stamping and injection processes. This allowed JPC to lead the industry in replacing conventional connectors with PCBA terminals and thereby build up a strong foundation of PCB layout and impedance matching technologies. JPC has also stayed ahead in the transition to active copper cables (ACC), based on which it was able to increase the transmission range and reliability of copper cables.
Soon afterwards, JPC undertook the development of optical modules featuring optical packaging and laser/optical coupler technologies. Not only has JPC effectively raised the transmission speed of its optical modules, but it has also reduced the power consumption and enhanced the heat dissipation. JPC has received four patents for its optical module technologies. Its leading-edge technologies will enable JPC to capture preemptive opportunities in the low speed to high speed transition and electrical signal to optical signal conversion brought by 5G and become a strong force supporting white-box equipment suppliers' foray into the telecom market.
JPC chairperson Shu-Mei Chang
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