Trendforce Predicts Adoption Rate of 3D Sensing in Smartphones at 13.1% in 2018

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Trendforce publishes its analysis of 3D sensing in smartphones:

"According to Peter Huang, analyst at TrendForce, there are three major technical barriers in producing 3D sensing modules at present. First, it is not easy to manufacture high-efficiency VCSELs, and the current electrical-to-optical power conversion efficiency is only about 30% on average. Second, the production of diffractive optical elements (DOE), a necessary component of Structured Light technology, and CMOS image sensor (CIS) in infrared cameras, require sophisticated technology. Third, the issue of thermal expansion also needs to be taken into consideration, making 3D sensing module assembly even more challenging. In sum, all these factors contribute to low yield of 3D sensing modules.

Therefore, it is estimated that only up to two Android phone vendors, most likely Huawei and Xiaomi, would adopt 3D sensing modules in 2018 with very limited shipments. Thus, Apple will remain the major smartphone company that adopts 3D sensing this year. It is estimated that the production volume of smartphones equipped with 3D sensing modules will reach 197 million units by the end of 2018, of which 165 million units will be iPhones. In addition, the market value of 3D sensing module in 2018 is estimated to be about US$5.12 billion, with iPhones alone accounting for 84.5% of the entire value. By 2020, the market value is estimated to reach US$10.85 billion, and the CAGR will be 45.6% from 2018 to 2020.

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