We are only scratching the surface of potential of optoelectronics – Industry trends

An article written by Pars Mukish, Business Unit Manager and Eric Virey, PhD., Senior Technology & Market Analyst at Yole Développement (Yole) for LAYERS, a magazine powered by EVATEC – Over the past 20 years, the strong growth in optoelectronics has been fueled by different technologies at different times. Laser diodes for high-speed optical networks were a major growth driver before the “” implosion in 2001. PV1, image sensors and LED2 devices then became star performers through the 2000s, followed by OLED3 and Quantum Dots in the 2010s.

More recently, there has been a lot of hype on Micro LED, VCSEL4 or 3D sensing / imaging technologies, and silicon photonics remains a good example of a booming trend in this domain.

Optoelectronic technologies are mostly driven by integration into industrial, automotive and consumer products (e.g.: smartphones, VR/AR5 headsets…) as enabling intelligent next-generation systems. Typical examples include VCSEL technology at the heart of Apple’s iPhone X FaceID function, matrix LED systems enabling intelligent glare-free lighting functions in recent car models, EELs6 representing key enabling technologies for LiDAR and so to autonomous driving while OLEDs7 and QDs8 are now at the heart of the display industry.

We are, therefore, only scratching the potential of optoelectronic technologies and related market opportunities. Already a multi-billion-dollar industry at the component level, the optoelectronic business will continue to grow strongly in the next decade as long as already established technologies (e.g. LED, PV) continue to increase their penetration rate, and disruptive technologies / systems (e.g.: 3D sensors / imagers) are developed.

Although VCSELs have existed for 20+ years, mainly for short-distance data communications (e.g. datacenters), they were relatively unknown until Apple used three of them in the iPhone X to enable its 3D sensing and facial recognition functions… Full article

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