The semiconductor universe consists of integrated circuits (ICs) and optoelectronic, sensor, and discrete (O-S-D) components. Although often overlooked in the past, the O-S-D market segments now command more attention due to a number of high-growth product categories that have consistently outperformed ICs and several "hot" emerging technologies that have moved into volume production. Among these technologies are microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) for sensors and actuators, CMOS image sensors for a growing range of embedded cameras, laser semiconductors for optical communications and depth scanning in 3D imaging systems, and high-brightness light-emitting diodes (HB-LEDs) for solid-state lighting applications.
IC Insights' 2021 O-S-D Report covers all the product categories of the optoelectronics, sensors/actuators, and discretes markets, which together accounted for 18% of total semiconductor sales in 2020, compared to 17% in 2010, and 13% in 2000.
Key Findings Include:
- Total O-S-D sales growth slowed to 3% in 2020 compared to a 4% increase in 2019. Stronger than expected sales in sensors and actuators and 2% growth in discretes during the Covid-19 plagued year lifted total O-S-D revenues to an 11th consecutive record-high level of $88.3 billion in 2020.
- Optoelectronics sales were flat at $44.0 billion in 2020, snapping three straight years of record-high sales. A slowdown in the growth of image sensors and a mix of increases and declines in other product categories reflected great uncertainty among system makers. Optoelectronic sales are forecast to rebound 14% in 2021 to an all-time high of $50.1 billion, as recovery begins following the global health crisis.
- Sensor and actuator sales climbed 11% in 2020 to an 11th straight record of $16.5 billion after rising just 1% in 2019. A 15% increase in the large actuator product category coupled with inventory replenishment and strong sales of sensors for intelligent control and the Internet of Things helped drive this market segment higher. Sensor and actuator sales are forecast to rise 16% in 2021 because of recovery in the industrial and automotive segments this year.
- Discrete semiconductor sales grew 2% in 2020 to a new record-high of $27.8 billion after dropping 1% in 2019. Systems makers and distributors refilled depleted inventories after steep declines at the start of hte Covid-19 outbreak. Power transistors rode the coattails of stronger IC growth in computers and data centers because of increased Internet usage during the pandemic. Discretes sales are forecast to grow 9% in 2021 to $30.2 billion.
- Emerging and fast-growing applications such as 3D imaging, machine vision, multi-sensor "fusion," self-driving features in vehicles, the build-out of 5G cellular networks, the Internet of Things, and the spread of LED-based lighting are expected to lift total O-S-D sales to $132.6 billion in 2025, which represents a CAGR of 6% from 2020.
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