- THE MAGAZINE
The global market value for photonic crystal components and modules is estimated to be $5.2 billion in 2011, according to “Photonic Crystals: Materials, Technologies and Global Markets,” a new report from BCC Research. That value is expected to reach $34.5 billion by 2016 as it increases at a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 46.1%.
The photonic crystal component and module market can be broken down into eight segments: displays, optical fibers, LEDs, discrete and integrated optical components, image sensors, solar and PV cells, lasers and supercontinuum sources, and biosensors.
The displays segment is projected to be worth nearly $6.1 billion in 2016 after rising at a CAGR of $34.5 billion from its estimated 2011 value of nearly $1.4 billion. Optical fibers are estimated to be worth nearly $2 billion in 2011, and in 2016 should be worth more than $10.8 billion, yielding a CAGR of 41.2%. The LEDs segment, estimated to be worth $983 million in 2011, should rise in 2016 to $8.1 billion at a CAGR of 52.5%. Discrete and integrated optical components are estimated to be worth $303 million in 2011, and in 2016 are expected to be worth $2.4 billion, a CAGR of 51.6%. The image sensors segment is estimated to be worth nearly $200 million in 2011, and in 2016 should be worth $888 million, a CAGR of 34.9%. The segment comprising solar and PV cells is estimated to be worth $270 million in 2011, and in 2016 should be worth $5.3 billion, a CAGR 81.3%. In 2011, the segment made up of lasers and supercontinuum sources is estimated to be worth $96 million, and in 2016 should be worth $621 million, a CAGR of 45.3%. The biosensors segment is estimated to be worth $27 million in 2011, and in 2016 should be worth $250 million, a CAGR of 56.1%.
Photonic crystals have been classic underachievers: full of promise, sound in theory, poor in implementation. Characterized by the presence of nano-scale patterns of segments with varied dielectric constants, photonic crystals rival electrons when it comes to versatility.
Photonic crystals have struggled to find their place in various domains for a number of reasons, including rapid strides in other areas of electronic fabrication, difficulty in fabricating photonic crystal-enabled products, and shareholder unwillingness to alter their well-oiled supply chains. The future is bright for photonic crystals, however, with anticipated yearly growth in excess of 46% a clear indicator. More importantly, this growth will not be vertical or confined to a single component, but will foray in a wide-ranging spread of intermediate components.
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