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Updated: July 8th, 2008 05:26 PM CDT

OIDA Projects 'Opto-mism' in Optoelectronics Markets

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Huff, David

Optoelectronics is a vibrant and exciting market and this last year has been no exception. At the Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA,) we are using a new phrase, "Optomistic," as the industry is showing signs of acceleration for optoelectronics in areasthat were unimaginable a decade ago. OIDA chronicled this "optomism"with the release of our Global Optoelectronics Industry Market Report and Forecast last October, an updated edition of the 2005 review.

Almost all segments of the market showed strong growth in 2005--with the greatest growth in consumer optoelectronics--as total optoelectronics components and enabled products grew 20% to $364 billion, from $304 billion in 2004 (see figure). Components grew 17% in 2005 to $104 billion, from $89 billion in 2004.

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The driving engine for these numbers continued to be the further penetration of display-based products and technologies into the consumer and computer markets. In particular, the products that saw strong growth were LCD TVs (79%) and camera phones/PDAs (41%). Within the components segment, much of the growth was driven by solar cells (24%),display modules (20%), and sources and detectors (10%). The sources and detectors segment includes optoelectronic components with strong growth rates such as image sensors (26%), nondiode lasers (9%), and diode lasers (6%). All segments exhibited growth in 2005 except optical-storage media, which declined (3%) due to price erosion.

There was strong growth in each of the three application segments for optoelectronics in 2005. The optical-communications business grewby 14% to $26 billion, from $23 billion in 2004. Computing grew 9% to $195 billion from $179 billion. Consumer/entertainment grew 40% in 2005 to $144 billion, from $103 billion. Some optoelectronics technologies are utilized in products that span communications, computing, and consumer/entertainment. A significant enabler driving this convergence is the LCD flat-panel display, which is now found not only in notebook PCs, but also in televisions, mobile cellular phones, PDAs, and desktop monitors.

Optoelectronics technology has demonstrated remarkable flexibilityin influencing new applications. Good examples from 2005 include development of flat-panel displays for computers and television. Revenues achieved in 2005 are a good indicator that this is indeed a vibrantapplication. The use of small displays in mobile handheld devices grew quickly and opened up new opportunities. The three largest growth areas (compared to 2004) were LCD TVs with 79% growth, PDP TVs with 45% growth, and camera phones/PDAs with 41% growth. Technology advances in organic LEDs (OLEDs) and laser televisions promise to keep this segment dynamic for several years.

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