SWIR imaging: a race for a US$2 billion dollars reward

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A SWIR imaging disruption could happen in the coming years, but the ecosystem waits for more game changing players.


  • The SWIR market is expected to be US$2.9 billion in 2028.
  • The SWIR ecosystem is waiting for game changers to enable cost reduction and mass manufacturing of SWIR technologies.
  • Quantum dots, organic photodiodes, germanium-based technologies… a profusion of new technologies towards efficient and low-cost imaging systems.

In 2022, SWIR imaging was still a niche industry. According to Yole Intelligence, part of Yole Group, the Industrial segment is expected to have a 28% CAGR from 2022-2028, from US$89 million in 2022 to US$395 million in 2028, powered by steady demand and price reductions.

The defense segment will experience higher growth than previously expected, reaching US$405 million in 2028 from US$228 million in 2022, pulled by geopolitical tensions such as the Ukraine war and tensions around Taiwan and an increasing number of countries becoming interested in SWIR technologies.

Axel Clouet, Ph.D., Technology and Market Analyst, Imaging at Yole Intelligence
“In 2026, SWIR can start replacing NIR imagers in flagship smartphones for under-display integration of facial recognition modules. This will drive a US$2,074 million market by 2028, considering the complete 3D-sensing modules.”

So, what’s next? Beyond 2028, SWIR could be integrated into lower-end smartphones and AR/VR headsets to increase performance of tracking cameras, 3D sensing, and even multispectral imaging in outdoor conditions. SWIR in Automotive will be driven by ADAS , where SWIR provides vision capability in low light and harsh conditions and 3D-sensing capability. This market could reach US$19 million by 2028.

In this context, Yole Intelligence releases its imaging report, SWIR Imaging 2023. In this report, the company – part of Yole Group –gives a comprehensive picture of the current SWIR imaging industry and a possible scenario for the future. The existing niche SWIR market that serves defense and industry is also included, as it is undergoing several transformations and drives non-negligible revenue. This study aims to provide more detailed information about applications and competing emerging technologies.

Titre du visuel

june 2021

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Thematic(s) :

Defense-oriented players lead the SWIR imaging industry supplying high-end products. SCD is the leader, followed by Sensors Unlimited and Teledyne FLIR. Many smaller players have significant growth potential, like Sony, or companies making quantum-dot-based cameras, such as SWIR Vision Systems and Emberion, which have a price advantage on high-resolution and extended spectral range products.
Newcomers bring new disruptive technologies, like STMicroelectronics, TriEye, or Artilux, to address consumer or automotive markets.

Traditional CMOS image sensor suppliers can be game changers due to their high-volume production capacity and unique design and integration know-how. However, among them, only Sony and STMicroelectronics have already developed SWIR imaging technology, even though others may show signs of interest, such as Samsung and OmniVision.
The SWIR ecosystem waits for greater interest from these players to accelerate technological and market disruption.

Yole Intelligence’s Imaging team invites you to follow the technologies, related devices, applications, and markets on

In this regard, do not miss Yole Intelligence’s presentation: short-wave infrared: the dawn of a new imaging age?

Stay tuned!


  • SWIR : Short Wave Infra-Red
  • CAGR : Compound Annual Growth Rate
  • NIR : Near Infra-Red
  • AR/VR : Augmented/Virtual Reality
  • ADAS : Advanced Driver Assistance Systems
  • CMOS : Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor

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