Over the past 15 years, strong growth in optoelectronics has been fueled by several different product categories at different times. Laser transmitters for high-speed optical networks were a major growth driver before the “dot.com” implosion in 2001. Image sensors and lamp devices (primarily light-emitting diodes—LEDs) became star performers in the last decade, and more recently, laser transmitters have re-emerged as a major growth driver in optoelectronics. IC Insights believes these three products will be key contributors to overall growth of the optoelectronics market through 2019 (Figure 1).
Through 2019, IC Insights sees these three trends driving optoelectronics market growth:
• High-brightness LEDs (HB-LEDs) have reached the luminous efficacy of fluorescent lights and are in a position to be a major factor in the $100 billion global lighting industry. Since the end of the last decade, strong sales of HB-LEDs have gone into backlighting systems for cellphones, tablets, LCD TVs, and computer displays, but this growth has greatly eased with penetration rates reaching nearly 100 percent in these applications. With production capacity growing, HB-LED suppliers are concentrating on cutting costs and improving the overall quality of light for general illumination products in homes, businesses, buildings, outdoor lighting, and other applications, such as automotive headlamps and digital signs. HB-LED 2014 -2019 CAGR forecast (sales): 9.7 percent.
• CMOS image sensors have entered into another wave of strong sales growth as digital imaging moves into new automotive-safety systems, medical equipment, video security and surveillance networks, human-recognition user interfaces, wearable body cameras, and other embedded applications beyond camera phones and stand-alone digital cameras. CMOS image sensor 2014-2019 CAGR forecast (sales): 11.1 percent.
• Fiber-optic laser transmitters will continue to be the fastest growing optoelectronics product category as network operators struggle to keep up with huge increases in Internet traffic, video streaming and downloads, cloud-computing services, and the potential for billions of new connections in the Internet of Things (IoT). Laser transmitter 2014-2019 CAGR forecast (sales): 15.3 percent.