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October 28, 2015


Price Erosion in Sensors, Volatility in Discretes Slows Total O-S-D Growth

Mixed bag of results in year-to-date sales among optoelectronics, sensor, discretes devices.

The worldwide market for optoelectronics, sensors and actuators, and discrete semiconductors (O-S-D) has turned into a mixed bag of double-digit growth for several major product categories (lamp devices, infrared circuits, and CMOS image sensors) combined with single-digit declines in sales for nearly a dozen other categories (including most sensors, diodes, rectifiers, and power transistors).  Combined revenues for O-S-D products are expected to grow 3% in 2015 to a new record-high $66.4 billion from the current peak of $64.4 billion set in 2014, when sales increased by 9%  (Figure 1).  With integrated circuit sales on track to decline by 1% this year, the marketshare of O-S-D products is projected to reach nearly 19% of total semiconductor revenues in 2015, which are now expected to drop by less than a half percent to $354.1 billion.

Figure 1

IC Insights expects growth in the sensor/actuator market segment to slightly strengthen in 2016 with revenues projected to rise 4% to $10.5 billion after increasing just 2% in 2015 to $10.1 billion due to significant price erosion in many sensor product categories.  The commodity-filled discretes segment is expected to recover and grow 3% in 2016 to $22.2 billion after being knocked down 6% in 2015 to $21.5 billion because of a slowdown in equipment manufacturing and weakness in the global economy during the second half of this year.

Optoelectronics is expected to continue to be the strongest growing segment in the O-S-D marketplace during the second half of this decade, primarily because of increasing demand for CMOS image sensors in a wide range of embedded applications (such as automotive, medical, video-surveillance networks, and image recognition systems) along with the spread of solid-state lighting products built with high-brightness light-emitting diodes (LEDs), and the need for more laser transmitters in high-speed optical communication networks.

The other two O-S-D segments—sensors/actuators and discretes—have struggled to maintain consistent growth after rebounding in 2014 from slumps in 2012 and 2013.  Discretes semiconductor sales continue to be whipsawed by volatility in product purchases, which have quickly switched on or off depending upon changes in the economic outlook or end-use market demand.  Power transistors, which account for more than half of discrete sales, have also seen tremendous swings in demand since 2010.

Report Details: The McClean Report and The O-S-D Report

Additional information regarding market growth trends for optoelectronics, sensors/actuators, and discretes is provided in the October Update of IC Insights’ flagship report, The McClean Report—A Complete Analysis and Forecast of the Integrated Circuit Industry.  This highly regarded service features more than 900 pages and more than 400 tables and graphs that provide the user with a thorough analysis of IC industry trends throughout the year. A subscription to The McClean Report includes free monthly updates from March through November (including a 250+ page Mid-Year Update), and free access to subscriber-only webinars throughout the year.  An individual-user license to the 2015 edition of The McClean Report is priced at $3,590 and includes an Internet access password.  A multi-user worldwide corporate license is available for $6,590.

Expanded coverage and detailed analysis of trends and growth rates in the optoelectronics, sensors/actuators, and discretes market segments is offered in IC Insights’ 350-page O-S-D Report—A Market Analysis and Forecast for Optoelectronics, Sensors/Actuators, and Discretes. The 2015 O-S-D Report contains a complete forecast of sales, unit shipments, and selling prices for more than 30 individual product types and categories through 2019. Also included is a review of technology trends for each of the segments.  The 2015 O-S-D Report, with more than 230 charts and figures, is attractively priced at $3,290 for an individual-user license and $6,390 for a multi-user corporate license.

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