The market for optoelectronics, sensors, actuators, and discrete devices will grow by 8% in 2014, a rebound from two weak years, according to IC Insights.
The strongest growth products in 2014 are set to be accelerometers, gyrometers, actuators, and magnetometers, all bouncing back from market declines in 2013 to record double-digit percentage growth in 2014, the market researcher said.
The 2013 weakness was due to a mix of economic uncertainty and inventory corrections but all three market segments will gain strength over the next several years as the global economy improves and unit demand bounces back, the IC Insights said.
In 2013 the three markets -- denoted O, S, and D -- were limited to just 1% growth, lower than the overall semiconductor market of 4.7% Nonetheless this took them to $58.6 billion in 2013, surpassing the previous peak of $58.2 billion in 2012.
IC Insights expects total O-S-D revenues to show a more normal 8% growth rate in 2014, to reach $63.5 billion this year. Optoelectronics is forecast to grow about 9% to $31.6 billion, sensors/actuators climbing nearly 14% to $9.9 billion, and discretes will recover from a two-year decline, increasing 6% to $22 billion.
Growth should continue through 2017 when the IC Insights expects the next economic slump. The markets should show a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 6.4% over the period 2013 to 2018.
Despite weaker growth, combined O-S-D sales accounted for 18% of the semiconductor industry's total sales of $325.1 billion in 2013 compared to marketshares of 16% in 2003 and 14.6% in 1993. And over the next five years O-S-D's marketshare will grow to nearly 20% of the projected $440.5 billion total semiconductor sales in 2018.
Meanwhile, total sensors sales were up by just 3% in 2013 with acceleration/yaw sensors falling 2% -- the first decline for this product category in eight years -- and a 1% drop in magnetic-field sensors. Actuators sales also fell 4% in 2013. In discretes, power transistors continued to struggle in 2013 with sales dropping 6% after an 8% decline in 2012. It was the first back-to-back annual sales decline for power transistors in more than 30 years.
The strongest growth drivers in O-S-D during the next five years are expected to be: high-brightness LEDs for solid-state lighting; laser transmitters for faster optical networks; MEMS-based accelerometers, gyroscopes, and pressure sensors for highly adaptive embedded control and location-aware cellphones and other portable systems; CMOS imaging devices for machine vision, medical systems, and new human-recognition interfaces; and power transistors for hybrid and electric vehicles, energy-saving electronics, and more efficient battery management solutions.
This article originally appeared on EE Times Europe.