SAN JOSE, Calif. For the first time in history, the optoelectronics market this year is projected to surpass the discrete semiconductor business and become the second largest segment in the semiconductor industry behind integrated circuits, according to IC Insights Inc.
IC Insights (Scottsdale, Ariz.) forecasts that sales of optoelectronics devices will increase 11 percent in 2006 to $16.5 billion, while discretes will grow just 2 percent to $15.6 billion this year after declining 3 percent in 2005.
Strong demand for image sensors in digital cameras and cellular phones, along with new solid-state lighting applications for white light-emitting diodes (LEDs), will push optoelectronics sales to $31.8 billion in 2010, according to the market research firm.
In contrast, revenues for discrete semiconductors are expected to grow at a much slower annual rate to reach $19.6 billion in 2010, according to the firm.
The optoelectronics segment includes CCD and CMOS image sensors, which are forecast to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 24 percent this decade in terms of sales and 37 percent in unit shipments.
“High-brightness white LEDs promise to give the optoelectronics segment another boost at the end of this decade, when solid-state lighting systems begin to replace conventional fluorescent tubes and incandescent light bulbs in offices and homes,” said Rob Lineback, an analyst with the firm.
The combined optoelectronics, sensor/actuator, and discrete segment accounted for 15 percent of the world’s $227.5 billion semiconductor sales in 2005. During this decade, the total
dollar volumes of optoelectronics, sensor/actuator, and discrete products are forecast to slightly outpace IC industry growth.
IC Insights forecasts a 13 percent cumulative average growth rate for the combined market in the 2005-to-2010 period.