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Optoelectronics: making waves in new markets

Posted: 01 Aug 2008 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:optoelectronics market? LED? lighting application?

The optoelectronics market is up for a strong global showing.

Car safety features such as lane departure warning and rearview/blind spot assistance use image sensors.

These light-emitting and light-detecting products are being designed into more and more applications, resulting in a global market of $17 billion, with the potential to reach $31 billion by 2013, according to market research firm Databeans Inc.

DVD systems and digital cameras remain the most familiar high volume optoelectronics applications. But some of the most innovative designs using optoelectronics today are in cars, medical instruments and lampsapplication areas that are not the most often associated with the technology.

Into cars
LEDs are already used extensively for interior lighting in automotives. And advances in technology are already ensuring that their use in exterior illumination will be mainstream down the road. LEDs' low power consumption and longevity provide application designers with the motivation to advance this technology to the next level, with lower cost products and brighter component solutions.

Some of the coolest designs using optoelectronics today are in cars, medical instruments, and lamps. (Click to view full table.)

Image sensors, found mainly in cellphones and digital cameras, are also making their way into vehicles, enabling additional safety features such as lane departure warning and rearview/blind spot assistance.

In the fast-growing segment of medical electronics, optoelectronics are being used in oncology, endoscopy and imaging. Meanwhile, the use of medical lasers is advancing quickly in cosmetic surgery and dermatology, where they are key components.

Growth trend
The growth of LED lamps will continue in many markets. Demand for LEDs in backlighting remains strong, while applications that use LEDs as replacements for traditional lighting sources offer significant growth opportunities. The performance improvement of white LEDs is making this replacement trend possible.

Of the optoelectronics segments, Databeans predicts that lighting and other consumer applications will grow the most in the next five years, with a global CAGR of 14 percent. The medical market follows with a forecasted growth rate of 13 percent, and automotive comes in third at 12 percent.

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