Trends in the Photonics Industry

Trends in the Photonics Industry


Jul 15, 2019

Blog Photonics Trends in the Photonics Industry

The increase in the adoption of photonics is gradually replacing electric conductors—which are used in semiconductors for high speed transmission systems—with silicon photonics.

The rise in optical transceivers devices developed using silicon photonics has assisted in the development of transmission speeds of over 100Gbps, which is expected to have mass adoption and support the development of high-performance computing with increased efficiency. These devices are being predominantly used for image and capturing, as well as for intelligent lighting solutions such as OLED technologies.

In our full report, “2018 Photonics Research Review,” we explain in depth what’s happening in several segments of the photonics industry.

However, if you’re looking for a quick overview of what’s happening in photonics—including the fast-growing fiber optics industry—you’ll find today’s blog helpful.

We provide quick insight into the main trends occurring in three of the fastest-growing segments in the industry:

  • Ultrafast Lasers
  • Fiber Optics
  • Optical Wireless Communication

Ultrafast Lasers

According to BCC Research analysts, in 2016, fiber lasers dominated the overall ultrafast laser market with a share of 54.1%, followed closely by diode-pumped lasers with a share of 25.3%.

Fiber lasers are most commonly used in materials processing, telecommunications, spectroscopy, healthcare and directed energy weapons operations.

Due to their features, such as high optical quality, high output power and high vibration reliability, fiber lasers have replaced other traditional ultrafast lasers over the past few years.

The fast growth of the ultrafast lasers market can be attributed to one main factor: their unmatched high-range intensity due to their low divergence angles and minimal energy loss during use.

Additionally, while both large and small competitors are present in the marketplace, there are no current substitutions for ultrafast lasers.

  • The global market for ultrafast lasers market is expected to grow from $2.3 billion in 2016 to almost $8.1 billion by 2022, growing at a robust annual growth rate of 24.7%.
  • By 2025, diode-pumped lasers and fiber lasers are expected to hold a market share of more than 79.5% in the global ultrafast laser industry.
  • With their increasing use in science and research, including applications such as surgery and spectroscopy, the market for titanium-sapphire lasers is expected to grow quickly at 25.5% annually.

Fiber Optics

The fiber optics industry is growing slowly in the field of optics. Growing technological advancements in material science has encouraged manufacturers to create fiber optics for various industries, such as healthcare, automotive and telecommunications.

The telecommunications industry is experiencing unexpected exponential growth, compounded by consumers’ insatiable demand for high bandwidth and a tremendous rise in the amount of time consumers spend online. The significant growth of the telecommunications industry is driving the fiber optic industry, specifically the market for fiber optic sensors.

Fiber optic sensors are also being used in healthcare applications, such as surgical instrumentation, diagnostic devices and therapeutic treatment, which is contributing to the growth of the global fiber optics industry.

  • Telecom held the largest share of the fiber optics industry in 2016, when it was valued at $967 million. Telecom is expected to remain the market leader through 2022.
  • The global fiber optics market was valued at $2.9 billion in 2016, and is expected to reach $5 billion by 2022, growing 9.4% annually through 2022.

Optical Wireless Communication

Optical wireless communication (OWC) is gaining increasing interest both alone and as a complementary technology to radio-waves-based wireless networking (WiFi).

There are three categories of OWC:

  • Visible Light Communication (VLC)
  • Infrared Light Communication (ILC)
  • Ultraviolet Light Communication (UVC)

Visible light communication that utilizes light-emitting diodes as light sources is also known as light fidelity (LiFi). LiFi offers additional advantages compared to other OWC types, including the fact that it can use existing infrastructure—home, office, retail, and industrial lighting systems, for example—and is a very safe technology.
OWC has existing and potential applications in ultra-short, short, medium, long and ultra-long range communication and is used in sectors such as retail, industrial, transportation, healthcare, infrastructure and defense.

  • The global market for OWC equipment was worth $3.8 billion and is estimated to reach $72.1 billion by 2023, growing annually.
  • Currently, LiFi accounts for the largest share of the market, at 82.2% in 2018, corresponding to $3.1 billion in sales.
  • The remaining categories of OWC, which include laser-based VLC, IRC and UVC, generated combined equipment revenues of $672 million in 2018.

Learn More About the Global Photonics Industry

To learn more about the global photonics industry, download a complimentary chapter of our recent report, “2018 Photonics Research Review.”


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    Sarah Greenberg

    Written By Sarah Greenberg

    Sarah Greenberg is the Manager of Content Marketing at BCC Research. She creates our blog, social media and email content.

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