The green laser market today is highly segmented in numerous niche applications from medical to military applications and laser shows. Those applications can work with existing Solid State Lasers or the more recent combinations of semiconductor lasers with non linear crystals (SHG: Second Harmonic Generation).
In the emerging market of pico-projectors and other display techniques such as Head Mounted Display (HMD) or Head up Display (HUD), the ideal light emitting device would be lasers thanks to their capability to deliver highly saturated colors in the widest possible gamut. Additional features are focus-free operation and expected improved wall-plug efficiency which will affect the power consumption for battery operation.
In 2009 however, the first LED based picoprojectors have been available on the marketplace with a slow take-off. No more than 300k units have been sold. The poor brightness (10 lm) for a relative high price might be a reason for this.
In the same year some impressive progress has been published on the capability to shift the blue laser diodes towards the green wavelength. The direct-emission semiconductor laser should be available in the coming years (2011-2012) to serve the projection display applications.
Green laser diode market size will reach about $500M size by 2016 and should represent more than 45M devices:
- Stand-alone projectors: We forecast this market to really take-off by 2010 with a sales volume in between 0.5 to 1 M units. During this first phase, most of it will be LED-based but we forecast 10-20% will be laser-based by 2011 and that ratio will grow to 50-75% by 2016.
We also envision a natural move from stand-alone to embedded device as the technology will little-by-little be compatible with size and cost constraints.
- Cell-Phone: That market will start late 2010 with high-end devices (Samsung “Android”,…). Laser-based systems will be slowly implemented along with cost reduction but we stay very conservative saying that LED will strongly dominate at least until 2016. According to the small size requirement, direct-emission green laser will be highly recommended.
- Media Players: That device is the perfect location for embedded pico-projectors. Its ultimate function is to diffuse and share media. There are less cost constraints and size issues compared to cell-phone. The boom should occur by 2012 with 2.6 to 5 M units equipped with projection functionality. SHG green lasers should dominate first waiting for direct-emission to be price and performance-compatible.
- Camera and camcorder: there, we forecast a slow market penetration for laser-based technologies as the battery life-time and cost can become critical parameters.
- Laptop: That is probably the most unclear segment.
GREEN LASER DIODE TECHNOLOGY: A MOVE FROM SHG TO DIRECT EMISSIONSOURCES
Only SHG laser diodes are available today on the market place. Corning, OSRAM and QD Laser having each their proprietary solution to green light generation. However, given the complex package of these lasers, it seems difficult to reach a reasonable target price. Moreover, these components seem to suffer from a shortage situation.
Sumitomo SEI, KAAI (UCSB) and OSRA M are the most advanced players for direct-emission green laser diodes. If performance meets the minimum requirements for optical power, wall - plug efficiency and lifetime, some of them could possibly offer products in limited quantities:as soon as the middle of 2011. The battle for direct-emission green source will also take place at substrate side where non-polar and semi-polar GaN crystal can play a very positive role in green wavelength emission.
Light engine module: A question of light-source cost…
The Light-Engine Module, combination of light source and image management (LCD, micro-mirrors, LCOS…) is expected at a target price of $40, this implies a price target of $10 per color, red will not be a problem, however, GaN blue lasers have not reached that price target yet despite their maturity. Green laser will also have to stay in the $10 range to penetrate the market.
LED is a serious competitor
LED and HBLED are serious competitors since some pico-projectors are already announced with Brightness of up to 30 lumens. The capability of lasers to deliver bright images becomes less ‘unique’. If the green and blue lasers from GaN based materials are not delivered in the expected target price, the market share for lasers could be limited to high end products.
This report provides a complete analysis of the projection applications targeted by the green laser diodes along with key market metrics. It describes the involvement of the major laser device manufacturers and gives a snapshot of the GaN material industry playground. The report presents the $ and unit values on the 2009-2016 time scale for the green laser diode devices and the related material market size in 2” equivalent. A MO