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28 July 2014

Automotive industry playing increasing role in opto component market

In recent years, the optoelectronic component market has been dominated by a number of applications, namely LEDs, backlighting and the emergence of solid state lighting. In the optocoupler and photo-relay markets, the focus has been on the industrial sector, while the infrared component and sensor markets are dominated by the consumer and telecoms sectors. However, with car ownership increasing in less economically developed regions and vehicles becoming more technologically advanced, the automotive sector is playing an increasingly important role across all the major optoelectronic component product types, according to a Research Note from market analyst Stewart Shinkwin at IHS Inc.

Following a new European Union (EU) directive 2008/89/EC, which required all new models of car after 2011 to be fitted with daylight running lamps (DRLs), the adoption of LEDs in automotive exteriors has increased significantly. Due to the long lifetime and energy-efficient nature of LEDs, penetration in this market sector has been high and has helped to drive adoption of LEDs.

The penetration of LEDs in headlamp units is still relatively low, with only 2% of car headlamps using LEDs in 2013, according to figures from IHS Automotive. As their popularity, performance and efficiency grow, this is set to increase to 17% in 2019. This will bring significant growth to the LED market, with packaged LEDs for automotive exterior lighting set to rise at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of over 8%.

With the spread of technological advances in the automotive industry, the adoption of infrared components has increased, with a wide range of automotive applications including auto head-lamps, automatic windscreen wipers, gesture control, and night-vision displays. A number of manufacturers are putting an increasing emphasis on this sector, due to the relatively low competition compared with the consumer sector. Infrared revenue in this sector is forecast to grow from $118m in 2013 to $207m in 2019. It is unlikely these technologies will become standard features in lower-cost models, but their penetration in mid-tier models is increasing continuously, says IHS.

The increase in sales of hybrid electric vehicles (HEV) and full electric vehicles (EV) is also promoting growth in the market for optocoupler, which are used in HEVs to isolate the onboard chargers and other high-voltage systems. With HEV shipments growing at a CAGR of 18% through to 2019 and little price erosion due to the significant barriers to entry, this market is a lucrative one for those manufacturers that can operate here, says IHS. The market is forecast to nearly double from $74m in 2013 to $146m in 2019.

Tags: Automotive LED lighting

Visit: www.ihs.com

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