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Video: Automotive industry driving optoelectronics

13 August 2014 IHS Markit Expert

Optoelectronics, including LEDs and infrared components, are used increasingly to help automate vehicle functions such as headlights and windshield wipers.

Stewart Shinkwin

Interview Transcript

Industries and optoelectronics

The total market for optoelectronics is currently worth around 22 billion dollars. There are three main product types on this market, the first one, and the largest one, being LEDs. These have mainly been used in backlighting displays in TVs, tablets, and notebooks. Increasingly we're seeing them being used in solid state as a replacement for, say, traditional lamps. The next product type would be optocouplers. These devices transfer signals between two insolated circuits, and these have traditionally been used in industrial automation. The final product type would be infrared components. And these are traditionally used in set top boxes and TVs for the remote controls.

How is the automotive industry playing an increasing role?

Car ownership is increasing in emerging markets as cars become more technologically advanced in others. Infrared components and LEDs are playing an increasingly prominent role in this sector. Infrared components, such as light sensors, can be used to detect ambient light to determine when everyone ought to switch on or off headlamps. These types of sensors can also be used to determine whether rain is on the windshield or whether to turn on or off the windscreen wipers. There are also new emerging applications for these kind of infrared components as well. Such as gestured control for the infotainment console in the center of the car. And also there's another application such as night vision to determine whether there's objects or sharp bends in the road.

There is also new legislation that has been changing the market as well. In the EU a new directive came into play in 2011, which meant all new vehicles had to be fitted with daylight running lamps. Obviously LEDs due to their longer lifetime and high efficiency of these products meant they're ideally suited to this application. In total, it means that the total optoelectronic component market in the automotive sector is forecast to increase to 2.3 billion dollars by the end of the decade.

Vehicle propulsion driving the market

We're seeing increase in sales of hybrid and also full electric vehicles. Optocouplers are used to isolate the onboard battery and other high voltage systems within these vehicles. We forecast the number of optocouplers per vehicle to be fairly constant. Obviously with the increase of the adoption of these vehicles, it drives the optocoupler market. We forecast revenues in the optocoupler market for the automotive sector to nearly double by the end of the decade to 146 million dollars.

Stewart Shinkwin, Analyst, Lighting and LEDs, IHS Technology
Posted 13 August 2014

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