Components | April 12, 2011

Record sales continue in Optoelectronics, Sensors, and Discretes

After unprecedented 2010 increases, total O-S-D revenues are predicted to hit USD 58.3 billion in 2011, reports market researcher IC Insight.
Slightly above average growth rates in 2011 will lift sales of optoelectronics, sensors and actuators, and discrete semiconductors to new record-high levels again this year following unprecedented increases in the 2010 recovery year, according to IC Insights' newly completed 2011 Optoelectronics, Sensors, and Discretes (O-S-D) report.

The optoelectronics market growing 11% to USD 26.4 billion in 2011, sensor/actuator sales increasing 15% to USD 8.5 billion, and discretes dollar volume rising 8% to USD 23.4 billion this year. Sales growth in these 3 semiconductor market segments is being driven by strong demand for accelerometers and gyroscope sensors built with microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) technology, high-brightness light-emitting diodes (LEDs), optical-network laser transmitters, CMOS image sensors, and power transistors, according to the market analysis in O-S-D Report 2011.

In the strong 2010 semiconductor recovery from the 2009 downturn year, the optoelectronic, sensor/actuator, and discrete markets racked up impressive gains with combined O-S-D revenues rising 37% to a record-high total of USD 52.9 billion. The 2010 increase was the highest annual growth ever recorded for total O-S-D sales.

Due to a relatively weak recovery in image sensors, 2010 optoelectronics sales grew "just" 30% to USD 23.9 billion, which was the fifth largest increase for this market in three decades. Meanwhile, sensors/actuators sales surged 45% in 2010 to USD 7.4 billion, which was the greatest increase ever for this industry category, while discretes revenues climbed an astounding 42% to USD 21.6 billion, which was the highest percentage growth for this commodity-filled semiconductor market since the 1970s.

While much of the 2010 increase in O-S-D sales was driven by the economic recovery and the need to refill depleted inventories, substantial real market growth occurred last year--going beyond just making up for lost growth in the downturn. When the combined effects of the 2009 slump and 2010 recovery are added together, all three O-S-D market segments exceeded their normal annual average growth rates in the two-year period. All three segments also reached new annual sales records in 2010.

The new O-S-D Report shows seven product categories setting new sales records in 2010: lamp devices (i.e., LEDs); optocouplers and switches; pressure sensors; acceleration/yaw sensors; magnetic-field sensors; power transistors; and rectifiers.

Total sales for all MEMS-based sensors and actuators also climbed 47% to a new record-high USD 6.2 billion in 2010. In addition to new all-time peaks being set again in these seven product categories and MEMS-based devices in 2011, IC Insights is forecasting new sales records being reached in total image sensors, CMOS image sensors, actuators, and diodes.
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