Analyst: Record-breaking year for opto, sensor sales

September 8, 2010 – In what is shaping up as a banner year for semiconductor sales in general, records will fall in multiple categories of sensors, optoelectronics, and discrete devices (OSD), with the combined sector growing 29% to nearly $50B, according to a new report from IC Insights.

The OSD sector makes up about 16% of overall semiconductor sales (the other 84% come from ICs), and will slightly exceed IC sales growth through 2014, says Rob Lineback, senior market analyst. Broken out, optoelectronics sales will rise 27% to $23.3B this year; discretes (mainly commodity devices) will surge 29%, a 15-year high, to $19.7B; and the sensors/actuators market will rise 33% to $6.8B.

Top growth for 2010. (Source: IC Insights)

Key drivers behind this growth:

  • Solid-state lighting, for a range of applications: backlit displays in portable computers, LCD TVs, cell phones and other handheld devices, and emerging high-brightness LED-based illumination applications.
  • Sensor/actuator devices, notably MEMS-based accelerometers. Actuator sales will surge 36% this year after a three-year lull to $3.4B, and another 19% in 2011 to a record $4.1B. These MEMS-based devices are getting a boost from demand for RF filters and switches, MEMS oscillators, and microfluidic devices and micromirror chips used for projectors in handheld devices and 3D movie systems.
  • Other areas of demand: Power discrete semiconductors, CMOS image sensors, and optical network laser transmitters.


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