Infrared detectors present in our daily environment
Infrared detectors are used as motion detectors since decades in our daily life for lighting controls and alarms. This business is very important in terms of volume with 150 million units sold in 2010, but the price of the detectors is very low (less than $ 1).
Even if this motion detector business is mature, it will continue to grow at a significant rate (CAGR 2010-2016 in value: + 9 %) driven by the concern for energy savings. In the coming years it will be increasingly used to switch off/on automatically lighting and appliances such as HVAC, TVs, appliances…
Another common use of infrared detectors is for non-contact temperature measurement for applications like human ear thermometer, or industrial pyrometers. IR detectors can also be used to detect gas, fire or to analyze materials. For those applications, the detector price can vary very much from single dollars to tens of dollars each. Here also, the business is growing driven by interest in IR detection: very robust non-contact measurement with a long lifetime.
The technology behind those applications is quite mature and use small detectors from one to 4 IR sensitive elements that can be made with two technologies: Pyroelectric sensors or thermopile sensors.
Large market players are entering the market
The Infrared detector industry was quite stable up to now with a few players dominating the business specially for motion detection: Perkin Elmer who sold its IR detector branch that became Excelitas (DE), Nicera (JP), Murata (JP) and Heimann (DE).
Some niche players (Pyreos, Irisys) have also developed innovative pyroelectric technologies (thin film, ceramic hybrid) that enable arrays of sensitive elements, but the volume sold are still limited to niche markets (counting people, gas detection, spectroscopy).
Large MEMS manufacturers are entering the IR detector business in 2011: Texas Instruments, Omron, Panasonic, Hamamatsu. These companies who have substantial revenues and resources, have developed thermopile detectors which are processed on their MEMS large production line (6 to 8’’). In that position, they have very competitive production costs that will provide access to new applications. For instance Texas Instruments target temperature measurement function for portable consumer electronic applications (notebook, tablet…).
New large detector applications are adding further market growth
Large detectors (from 16 x 16 to 64 x 64 pixels) are developed to obtain advanced person detection functionalities meaning it is possible to locate the position of a person precisely in a space, to identify immobile persons (not possibly with motion sensors) or to monitor large areas. The end markets will be for home automation, for healthcare, or security businesses. On this “large detector” market, several technologies will compete: pyroelectric, thermopile and microbolometers. Pyroelectric and thermopiles are well advanced thanks to their position on small detectors, but need still to increase their detector size. Microbolometer technology is leading the infrared imager business where image resolution is higher than 10,000 pixels and prices of several hundred dollars. Microbolometer players (Ulis, Flir, NEC, DRS) have started to develop or investigate large detector applications, but the low cost target will be a big challenge for those players. Next year will be crucial to determine which technology will be the most adopted.
All in all, with the arrival of new MEMS players and the emergence of large detector applications, we expect that the overall IR detector business will grow from $ 152M in 2010 at a rate of + 11 %/ year to reach $ 286M in 2016.
Key features of the report
·Provide market data on IR detector business
-IR detector unit shipments and revenues
-Sales forecast by application and by technology (pyroelectric and thermopile small detector, large detector with any technology)
-Market shares of IR detector manufacturers for both pyroelectric and thermopiles (Excelitas, Nicera, Murata, Heimann).
·Provide an overview of the IR detector applications
-Applications: Motion detection, high end pyrometer, low end temperature sensors,
-Applications profile: application description, technologies used, size of the detectors, integrators profiles with name of the key companies, average pricing and main trends.
·Analyze the IR detector players position
-Comparison of current players (Excelitas, Nicera, Murata, Heimann) and new entrants
-Analysis of new MEMS players strategies : Omron, Texas Instruments, Panasonic, Hamamatsu
·Provide a technological overview of IR technologies
-Description of the main technologies: pyroelectric crystal, pyroelectric ceramic, pyroelectric thin films, thermopiles, microbolometers
-Comparison of the technologies and market share by application
·Analyze the large detector emerging applications
-What are the main competing technologies and players
-What are the challenges to access to these applications and success chances for the various technologies
Who should buy the report
·IR detector and IR imager manufacturers
-Identify and evaluate IR detectors markets with market size, growth and key customers
-Analyse the threads and opportunities of new market entrants
·IR detector systems manufacturers
-Get the list of the top IR detectors manufacturers
-Spot the new potential suppliers with disruptive technologies
·Equipment & Material manufacturers
-Understand the IR detector supply chain and its evolution
-Identify new opportunities and prospects
·Financial & Strategic investors
-Understand the main market dynamics and main technological trends
-Get the list of the key players and emerging start-ups of the camera and detector industries.