LONDON – The market for printed and potentially printed electronics items will be $9.4 billion in 2012, according to market forecaster IDTechEx Ltd. (Cambridge, England).
This estimate, which puts the printed electronics market at nearly one-thirtieth the size of the semiconductor chip market, includes devices and subsystems that are not printed today but that IDTechEx believes are moving towards being printed.
Of this market 30 percent are produced by predominantly by printing and 6 percent are produced by printing on non-rigid substrates.
Four markets make up 98 percent of the $9.4 billion; OLED displays, e-paper displays; conductive inks and CIGS (copper indium gallium selenide) photovoltaics.
Printed and potentially printed electronics market size by component type in 2012. Source: IDTechEx
OLED displays are not printed but the market is expected to be worth $4 billion in 2012, according to IDTechEx. The annual market for e-paper style display much used in e-readers is estimated to be worth $290 million. The market for conductive inks used in photovoltaics, antennas, membrane circuits and shielding and static discharge applications is said to be worth $2.3 billion in 2012. The CIGS photovoltaic market, although entirely not printed and non-flexible at present is thought to be worth $2.6 billion in 2012.
The OLED display market is to grow fast and large with OLED lighting set to follow behind. Sales of printed batteries, logic and memory remain small but building block developments such as the availability of printed plastic memory are starting to alter the landscape, IDTechEx said.