LONDON The market for AlGaInP laser diodes, a key element in optical drives, is expected to boom over the next five years, to become a $1.5 billion global market for the devices by 2009, according to market research company Strategy Analytics. Strategy Analytics ascribes this to sales of DVD players.
Strategy Analytics did not give an estimate for the market size in 2004 or 2005 or any growth figures.
Japanese vendors currently lead the market, however, Strategy Analytics foresees competition coming from emerging producers in Taiwan and China that have focused on the multi-billion dollar opto-electronics market and are keen on developing their own semiconductor capability.
"Commodity LED production has already moved from Japan to lower-cost countries in Southeast Asia. Taiwanese and Chinese manufacturers will press for a similar migration of laser diode production and compete on price," said Asif Anwar, service director for the Strategy Analytics GaAs Service, in a statement.
The storage market dominates the demand for AlGaInP laser diodes for both stand-alone DVD players as well as DVD drives for PC use, Strategy Analytics said. Industrial and other applications include barcode scanning and various visible marking applications, which will remain small, but growing, markets.