Application proliferation and technology diversity are reshaping the IR light source industry.
A PROLIFERATION OF NEW IR LIGHTING APPLICATIONS, THANKS TO SOLID-STATE LIGHTING SOURCES
Developed in the 1960s, IR light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and laser diodes (LDs) are not new technologies, but rather have evolved quickly with the recent development of solid-state lighting (SSL). Initially developed for optical communication applications, LED and LD are now integrated
into high-value functions for datacom/telecom, consumer, automotive, and industrial applications.
These technologies are part of a new revolution, with each one finding its own path:
- Initially focused on low-end applications (photointerrupters, remote controls, etc.), IR LEDs are now increasingly implemented into smartphones for proximity sensing; automotive for gesture recognition; and VR/AR headsets for eyetracking.
- For edge-emitting lasers (EEL), the market has historically been driven by optical communication applications. This is likely to continue, given the always-increasing amount of data exchanged with optical fiber networks. However, in the mid-term the technology may also find strong growth relays in new applications, i.e. LiDAR.
- Today, vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSEL) might be the fastest-growing technology. Having originally found its sweet spot in shortdistance data communication, Apple’s 2017 release of the iPhone X (which has a 3D sensing function based on VCSEL technology) has completely changed the business landscape.
All of these infrared SSL sources have different semiconductor structures (i.e. epitaxy, front-end, back-end), emit at different wavelengths/power outputs, and provide different light-emission profiles/shapes, thus creating a large variety of possible specifications - and so too applications. With increasing interest from the automotive and consumer industries in photonic technologies, IR lighting has a bright future ahead.
This report offers an in-depth analysis of all IR lightsource technologies and applications, including: basic principles, trends, key players, and market size. It highlights the global landscape for IR light sources, including classification of applications by wavelength, market segment, and function. Specific focus is also given to automotive, smartphone, and datacom applications.
IR LIGHT SOURCE MARKET - A POTENTIAL $6.5B OPPORTUNITY IN 2023
More than 40 different applications have been identified as integrating IR SSL sources. Among these, some are expected to make the IR LED and LD markets boom in the next five years.
Optical communication, one of the oldest applications driving the IR light-source market, is still expected to be one of the major drivers in the coming years. Indeed, the amount of data exchanged on the internet is exploding, and will continue to do so with the emergence of the internet of things (IoT), cloudbased services, autonomous cars, and more.
Driven by additive manufacturing, industrial applications are also expected to generate high revenue in the coming years. Traditional IR light sources that emit light in all directions and consume large amounts of energy are starting to be replaced by VCSEL that can be individually controlled, resulting in lower energy consumption.
Finally, 3D sensing is expected to be the killer application for IR light sources. VCSEL’s integration in the iPhone X for facial recognition has generated much interest in 3D sensing, and after Apple some key Android-based smartphone manufacturers are starting to release new products integrating this technology. However, 3D sensing is not limited to smartphones. It also has potential for automotive LiDAR, which is necessary for the development of ADAS. Not surprisingly, many start-ups in this field have entered the market in order to develop this technology and join the coming revolution.
As a result, the IR light source market is estimated to reach $1.8B in 2018, increasing to $6.5B in 2023 at a CAGR2018-2023 of 29%.
This report presents detailed market forecasts in volume and revenue, by application and by light source technology (LED vs. EEL vs. VCSEL).
DIFFERENT INDUSTRY STRUCTURES AND MATURITY LEVELS FOR LED, EEL, AND VCSEL
Fueled by visible lighting applications, today’s LED industry is quite mature. Almost all players are vertically integrated, from epitaxy to packaging. In this industry, more than 40 IR LED suppliers are confirmed, with the majority coming from Asia. The manufacturing process is well controlled and there are few remaining challenges, except for high-power and long-/multi- wavelength IR LED devices.
The landscape is quite different for EEL and VCSEL, where most of the identified players hail from the U.S. and Europe. The manufacturing process is much more complex and there is still a need for R&D and engineering to increase device performance and production yields. As a result, there are a variety of
players with different positioning along the supply chain: epihouses, foundries, IDMs, fabless players, and more.
In this context, and since EEL and VCSEL will drive the bulk of future IR lighting revenue, there is still a large business opportunity for specialized players (epihouses and foundries primarily, but also designers). This is related to the manufacturing process, which still must be optimized, and also to the challenges of integrating light sources into packages and/or systems. Indeed, VCSEL and EEL can be combined with complex optics: for example, the dot projector used in facial recognition; or integrated in packages for optical communication and its future evolution: silicon photonics.
This report presents an analysis of IR SSL source industries, including a map of manufacturers, insights into manufacturing processes and technology, positioning within the supply chain, and current limitations/challenges. This report also describes IR system roadmaps in key market segments such as datacom, smartphones, and automotive.
OBJECTIVES OF THE REPORT
- Give readers an understanding of the global landscape related to IR LED, EEL, and VCSEL
Review all applications for IR LED, EEL, and VCSEL, offering insights into principles, technology, technical requirements, trends, key players, and more
Analyze the technology and idnsutry behind IR LED and laser light sources, and their integration into sensors and modules
Provide and analyze IR light source market forecasts for 2010 -2023, with insights into trends for 2024 - 2028
Analyze the intellectual property landscape for IR LED, EEL, and VCSEL
- In-depth analysis of automotive, smartphone, and datacom/telecom applications
- Comprehensive review of emerging applications
- IP landscape analysis for IR LED, EEL, and VCSEL