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IR camera shipments predicted to log 22% CAGR through 2020

Posted: 23 Jun 2015 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Yole Developpement? IR camera? thermal camera? smartphone?

Since Yole's last report a new challenger has arrived in the market: Seek Thermal. Its emergence in August 2014 pushed FLIR to react quickly to follow up its first generation FLIR One, released in June 2014. It's new, second generation, FLIR One will therefore be available in 3Q15.

"At Yole, we expect consistent sales growth in the smartphone area over the next few years," asserted de Charentenay. "New technologies like augmented reality could potentially open a new world of opportunities." Indeed, Metaio, the augmented reality firm that uses a thermal camera, was acquired by Apple in June 2015.

In Yole's report, analysts also identify the latest products and related technology from the infrared imaging industry. For example, in March 2014, Opgal released its Therm-App solution based on microbolometer technology from Ulis.

Yole's analysis indicated that the price of Opgal's solution decreased from $1,600 to $939 in 2015 meaning 40 per cent price decrease. "Opgal targets more professional users," de Charentenay stated. "Its module competes with thermography cameras or personal vision (PVS) cameras. This market positioning will open these new markets to Opgal."

Yole's analysts also propose an additional scenario in this report, involving an aggressive ramp-up of smartphones based on huge price erosion. Cost reductions obtained from shrinking sensors to 6?m, wafer level packaging (WLP) techniques, ASIC and 3D integration, would allow the integration of infrared cores inside phones by 2020.

Infrared camera supply chain

"Smartphones were a 1.1 billion unit market in 2014, and any new sensor adopted will surely lead to higher volume," de Charentenay said. "However, this high volume will only be possible if a significant cost reduction is realised in the IR imaging industry, bringing camera modules down to around $10."

- Julien Happich
??EE Times Europe

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