3D imaging and sensing: STMicroelectronics and Lumentum benefit the most in Apple’s supply chain. Who’s next?

Product Related

Can Apple’s use of direct Time-of-Flight sensors in the iPhone 12 Pro accelerate? Can it consolidate the use of ToF 3D sensing technology?

“In mobile markets there is a temporary hiatus in growth of 3D sensing due to the ban of Huawei in the US as well as the fact that the Android camp has abandoned the technology.” asserts Richard Liu, Technology and Market Analyst in the Photonics, Sensing & Display division at Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group. He adds: “The shipment volume of 3D sensing products recorded in 2020 is about 80% of the previous forecast. The gap between previous optimistic forecasts widened as sales leveled off. But under-display camera technology became mature, and there are more low-cost iToF sensing solutions. These could drive higher 3D sensing adoption and a return to growth around 2023”.

Apple continues to use front-facing structured light throughout all iPhone series. It also introduced a 3D camera with a dToF array sensor into the iPhone 12 Pro, a step forward for the 3D sensing market.

Titre du visuel

june 2021

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Thematic(s) :

In this context, Yole investigates imaging technologies and related markets in depth. Analysts point out the latest innovations and underline the business opportunities.
The market research and strategy consulting releases today its annual imaging technology & market analysis: 3D Imaging and Sensing- Technology and Market Trends 2021. Yole’s imaging team takes another step forward in the understanding of the industry and its evolution. Including detailed market forecasts, trends and segmentations, deep analysis of the ecosystem, determination of the application range, technology trends and more…

What are the economic and technological challenges of the 3D imaging and sensing market? Who are the key players of this industry? Who are the suppliers to watch, and what innovative technologies are they working on?

This latest edition of Yole’s popular report offers key insights for navigating 3D imaging and sensing’s growth.

As analyzed by Yole’s team in the new 3D Imaging and Sensing – Technology and Market Trends 2021 report, besides mobile phones, 3D sensing technology has a broad reach in the consumer market, including tablets, VR/AR , robot vacuum cleaners, and AIoT . Increased labor costs and manufacturing upgrades are accelerating development of automation and machine vision, including 3D visual systems, increasing 3D vision penetration every year. Electric vehicles have ramped up in 2020, which also exploit advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS), which market is currently booming. Yole’s analysts believe that Automotive will be a large part the next wave of 3D sensing adoption.
The company expects the global 3D imaging and sensing market to expand from US$6.8 billion in 2020 to US$15.0 billion in 2026, at a 14.5% CAGR.
According to Pierre Cambou, MSc, MBA, Principal Analyst in the Photonics and Sensing Division at Yole“3D imaging and sensing technology is an important means to acquire information in the perception of the real world. It provides a basis for detection and recognition as well as fornreconstruction of the real geometry of an object and subsequent 3D modeling. It is used in consumer biometry, augmented reality, gaming, autonomous driving and a wide range of applications”.

In mobile 3D sensing, Apple’s supply chain is stable and growing.
STMicroelectronics and Lumentum are the most profitable, followed by ams, II-VI and LG Innotek.
The Android camp is less healthy.
Neither the emitter component suppliers, such as Trumpf and Vertilite, nor the receiver companies, like Omnivision and PMD Technology, have benefited much. The good news is that they’re already actively working on 3D sensing in the non-mobile space, such as Vertilite in automotive and PMD in consumer applications.
Within this 3D imaging and sensing ecosystem Sony remains an exception. It is not only the leader of iToF sensor arrays, but also the only manufacturer that can provide dToF sensor arrays for consumer applications. It is very competitive. Analysts will not be surprised if it keeps its number one position no matter how the market changes.
“The 3D sensing market is developing rapidly and offer great opportunities” affirms Richard Liu“In addition to the mobile phone market, automotive ADAS and AR are set to be big 3D sensing applications. In 2020, the rapid growth of electric vehicles with very high intelligence and ADAS brought LIDAR adoption forward. This has attracted a wide range of players, from LiDAR suppliers in traditional industries like Valeo and Velodyne to electronics giants Sony, Huawei and start-ups like Livox and XAOS”.
In all the 3D sensing markets, China is an emerging market. It shows great vitality not only in the 3D back-end application market but also in the 3D front-end supply chain. This has been driven by the policy of China cultivating local supply chains in the middle of the US-China trade conflict. Facial payment has been driven by platform vendors AliPay and WeChat, and supported by technology provider Orbbec. In 3D machine vision, Hikrobot and Huaray are starting to compete with the likes of Sick and Lucid. In the automotive, the entry of Chinese players has played a decisive role in the price decline of LiDAR.

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