Yole Uncooled Thermal Imaging Report

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Yole Developpement releases "Uncooled Infrared Imagers market & technology trends" report: "Today the uncooled IR camera market is showing an 8% CAGR between 2016 and 2022 reaching almost US$ 4.4 billion at the end of the period. Only few players control this industry. In 2016, two leading companies, FLIR and ULIS, both with different market strategies and solutions, owned more than 75% of the total market (in volume).

Besides FLIR and ULIS, many others players are also benefiting from IR imaging market growth:

• SEEK Thermal has introduced its new, higherperformance RevealPRO, and CompactPRO products as the company moves from consumer products to more high-end products.

• Players such as BAE Systems or Leonardo DRS are benefiting from the defense market growth cycle that could still last for a few more years.

• Newcomers are introducing their products, for example, Teledyne Dalsa released its first Vox microbolometers in 2017.

• Many companies in China are developing their own microbolometers. They do not produce large volumes today but the domestic market has great potential.

• On the other hand companies like Bosch, long involved in the MEMS and infrared businesses, have changed their strategies.
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"2016 was a good year for the microbolometer market. There were almost 900,000 uncooled IR camera shipments, worth $2.7B in revenues thanks to a dynamic commercial market and continued growth for military applications. Many commercial applications drove this growth, including thermography, surveillance, PVS and firefighting. In 2022, we estimate there will be 1.7M units shipped.

Thermography is still the leading commercial market by far, in both value and volume. We estimate that there will be 500,000 thermography units shipped annually by 2022. As camera prices continue to fall, with several new products below $1000, sales are growing.

Surveillance is another interesting market. Until recently, thermal cameras have primarily been used in high-end surveillance for critical and government infrastructure. New municipal and commercial applications with lower price points are now arising, including traffic, parking, power stations and photovoltaic planning. We estimate this market will grow at almost 17% over 2017-2022 to reach 300,000 units by 2022.

Night vision in cars, including autonomous vehicles, could boost the microbolometer market. China is already a large market for automotive night vision, absorbing 25% of the total number of systems produced. In coming years, China will continue to account for a high share of this market.
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