The semiconductor universe consists of integrated circuits (ICs) and optoelectronic, sensor, and discrete (O-S-D) components. Although often overlooked in the past, the O-S-D market segments now command more attention due to a number of high-growth product categories that have consistently outperformed ICs and several "hot" emerging technologies that have moved into volume production. Among these technologies are microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) for sensors and actuators, CMOS image sensors for a growing range of embedded cameras, laser semiconductors for optical communications and depth scanning in 3D imaging systems, and high-brightness light-emitting diodes (HB-LEDs) for solid-state lighting applications.
IC Insights' 2020 O-S-D Report covers all the product categories of the optoelectronics, sensors/actuators, and discretes markets, which together accounted for 19% of total semiconductor sales in 2019, compared to 16% in 2009, and 13% in 1998.
Key Findings Include:
- With few exceptions, O-S-D's share of total semiconductor sales has been trending higher since the end of the 1990s. In 2019, O-S-D sales as a percent of total semiconductor sales swelled to 19.4% because of the steep 15% decline in the IC market. By 2024, O-S-D sales are projected to represent a more typical 17.4% of total semiconductor sales with the rest coming from ICs.
- The O-S-D market grew 5% in 2019 to $86.1 billion, marking its 10th consecutive year of increasing sales. However, the economic fallout from the global Covid-19 virus crisis is expected to break the string of record-high O-S-D sales in 2020.
- After 9% growth in 2019, the optoelectronics market is forecast to drop 6% in virus-plagued 2020 and then rebound with 10% growth in 2021. Optoelectronics growth in the next five years will be driven by CMOS image sensors for embedded cameras, automotive safety, vision-based automation, laser transmitters for optical networks and new 3D imaging applications, and more powerful LEDs for solid-state lighting. The sensor/actuator market is forecast to drop 4% in 2020, but sales are also expected to recover in 2021. Unit demand for sensors and actuator semiconductors continues to be driven by automation of embedded controls, more connections to Internet of Things, and the miniaturization of measurements. Discrete semiconductor sales declined 1% in 2019 and are forecast to fall another 8% in 2020 to $25.0 billion and then begin a slow-but-steady recovery in 2021. Power transistors remain the growth engine in the commodity-filled discretes market.
- New fast-growing and emerging applications, such as machine vision, image recognition, ongoing electrification of cars, automated driving, IoT, solid-state lighting, and multi-sensor "fusion" in intelligent systems are forecast to lift total O-S-D sales to $104.4 billion in 2024, which equates to a CAGR of 4% through the forecast.
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