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Opto-sensor-discrete products hit record sales in 2012

Posted: 15 Mar 2013 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:opto-sensor-discrete? MEMS? CMOS image sensor? LED? TSMC?

According to the most recent data from IC Insights, seven product categories and device groups under the optoelectronics, sensors/actuators, discrete components (collectively, the O-S-D) market reached record-high sales in 2012. Total sales of MEMS-based products are expected to rise nine per cent to reach an annual record of $7.6 billion, surpassing the current peak of $7.1 billion set in 2011, stated the market research firm.

With sales in the much larger IC segment falling four per cent in 2012, O-S-D's share of total semiconductor revenues grew to 19 per cent in 2012 versus 18 per cent in 2011 and 14 per cent in 2002. O-S-D's market share of total semiconductor sales in 2012 was the highest it's been since 1991.

CMOS image sensors were the fastest growing O-S-D product category in 2012 with sales rising 22 per cent to a new record-high $7.1 billion, blowing past the previous peak of $5.8 billion set in 2011.

IC Insights O-S-D market record high sales

O-S-D market: All the products shown are forecast to grow by moderate percentages in 2013, which will lift them again to new record-high levels.

Since the 2009 downturn year, CMOS image sensor sales have climbed 85 per cent due to the strong growth of embedded cameras used in smartphones and portable computers (including tablets) and the expansion of digital imaging into more systems applications. CMOS designs are now grabbing large chunks of market share from CCD image sensors, which are forecast to see revenues decline by a CAGR of 2.4 per cent between 2012 and 2017. Sales of CMOS imaging devices are projected to grow by a CAGR of about 12 per cent in the forecast period and account for 85 per cent of the total image sensor market versus 15 per cent for CCDs in 2017. This compares to a 60/40 split in 2009.

High-brightness LED revenues climbed 20 per cent in 2012 to nearly $9.5 billion and are expected to hit the $20 billion level in 2017, with annual sales growing by a CAGR of 16 per cent in the next five years. That's the good news, but of immediate concern is whether new solid-state lighting applications are growing fast enough to consume the large amounts of production capacity being added worldwide in LED wafer fabsespecially in China. Solid-state lighting's main growth engine in recent yearsbacklighting in LCD televisions and computer screensis slowing, and the multi-billion dollar question is whether the next wave of applications (e.g., LED light bulbs, new interior and exterior lighting systems, digital signs and billboards, automotive headlamps, long-lasting street lights and other uses) can keep the industry ahead of a potential glut in high-brightness lamp devices.

About 81 per cent of the sensor/actuator market's sales in 2012 came from semiconductor products built with MEMS technology. Sensors accounted for 52 per cent of MEMS-based device sales in 2012, while actuators were 48 per cent of the total. A 10 per cent drop in actuator sales in 2012 lowered total revenues for MEMS-based devices to $7 billion from the current peak of $7.1 billion in 2011. By 2017, MEMS-based sensors and actuators are projected to reach $13.5 billion in sales, which will be a CAGR increase of 14 per cent from 2012, and unit shipments are expected to grow by a CAGR of 17.4 per cent in the next five years to 9.7 billion devices. MEMS manufacturing continues to move into the mainstream IC foundry segment, which will open more capacity to fabless companies and larger suppliers. TSMC, GlobalFoundries, UMC and SMIC all have increased investments to expand their presence in MEMS production using 200mm wafers.

Among the strongest growth drivers covered in the O-S-D Report are: high-brightness LEDs for solid-state lighting applications; laser transmitters for high-speed optical networks; MEMS-based acceleration/yaw sensors for highly adaptive embedded control in cell phones, tablet computers and consumer products; CMOS imaging devices for automobiles, machine vision, medical and new human-recognition interfaces; and a range of power transistors for energy-saving electronics and battery management.

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