The laser diode market is expected to register a CAGR of 14% during the forecast period (2020 - 2025). According to the laser-focus world, the market for laser materials-processing systems grew by an incredible 50% from 2016 to 2018. In 2019, one of the key trends is the rise of VCSEL technology for applications like facial recognition in smartphones. VCSELs are a type of laser diode that offers superior beam properties, thermal stability, and device scalability compared to products like Fabry Perot laser diodes.
- Laser diodes are often referred to as semiconductor lasers, are a type of optoelectronic devices. Their capabilities (such as compact design, the potential to be mass-produced, and operate under a wide range of wavelengths) make laser diodes an essential component in telecommunication technologies, 3D sensing technologies in the automotive and consumer electronics sector, and industrial applications, like cutting. Therefore, the growing application of laser diodes in diverse sectors is expected to support the growth of the market.
- Over the past few years, the demand for laser diodes in the healthcare sector has witnessed growth. A laser diode can assist physicians to focus the beam with better precision on targeted areas, preventing any kind of damage to the surrounding area. As a result, the employment of semiconductor laser diodes is continuously expanding in the spine, cardiovascular and cataract surgeries. Besides this, laser diodes also find vast applications in hair removal, body contouring, LASIK surgery, skin resurfacing, tattoo removal, and wrinkle and pigmentation reduction.
- In terms of market growth, the demand for laser products globally has increased rapidly. There is an increasing demand from emerging end-users, such as the automotive sector, owing to the increased usage of laser technology for advanced driver assistance systems and safety systems over the ultrasound and other technologies.
- However, the trade war between China and the United Sates has taken a considerable toll on the laser diodes market. Both these markets are highly dependent on each other for laser technology. While China is estimated to occupy 40% of the world's lasers supply, the United States and Europe are known to manufacture most of these laser products. For instance, on July 6, 2018, China enacted an additional 25% tariff on motor vehicle imports from the United States, especially targeting the hybrid and electric vehicle (HEV) manufacturers, that are responsible for a significant share of the demand for laser diodes globally.
Scope of the Report
A laser diode is a semiconductor device that produces coherent radiation when current passes through it, which is very similar to the concept of light-emitting diodes (LEDs). Unlike bulky, high intensity, and high powered lasers that are used for advanced industrial applications, laser diodes are generally confined to simpler applications such as communications & optical storage, industrial, medical, military & defense, instrumentation & sensor, and others.
Key Market Trends
Increasing Adoption of Laser in Medical and Healthcare to Drive the Market Growth
- Of all the wavelengths in which the laser diode operates, the green laser diodes have operational advantages, over other wavelengths. As these green laser diodes are capable of operating in a wide range of temperatures, have a long lifetime, and are highly reliable at continuous operation, the growth potential of this type of laser diodes is high.
- The applications of green laser diodes include projection applications, biotechnology, spectroscopy, medical applications, etc. Due to the increased demand in the healthcare sector, green laser diodes are expected to occupy the largest share of the laser diode market, during the forecast period.
- Moreover, lasers available in the femtosecond and picosecond variants, are gaining traction in the medical equipment. For instance, stents and catheters are being made with ultrafast lasers.
- In addition, mandates of laser marking for medical devices across the regions is another reason for the increasing demand for ultrafast lasers. Femtosecond lasers are known for marking in the glass, which allows the traceability of syringes and other glass devices.
- However, these lasers are used for processing plastics for medical devices (polymer processing). There is an increased demand for cosmetic surgery procedures, which include surgical and non-surgical procedures that improve the appearance by reshaping and enhancing the body structure. For instance, according to the American Society of Plastic Surgeons (ASPS), almost 18 million people underwent surgical and minimally invasive cosmetic procedures in the United States in 2018.
Asia-Pacific to be the Fastest Growing Market
- It is estimated that the Asia-Pacific segment would dominate the laser diode market, by the end of the forecast period, owing to the rising hospital healthcare investment in the region, consumption of consumer electronics (like LCDs, where laser diodes are used), and the anticipated demand for autonomous vehicles (wherein laser diodes are used in the lidar technology).
- Moreover, research-funding agencies have begun to invest mostly in new collaborations and facilities in Asia-Pacific that employ laser diode for broad areas of science.
- Companies are collaborating in this region and creating a huge opportunity. For instance, in November 2018, STORMBEE made a strategic partnership with Neolaser Solutions to increase their presence in the Asia-Pacific market of Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, China, Japan, Korea, Australia, and New Zealand.
The laser diode market is fragmented. The market is highly competitive due to the presence of many small and large players. Some of the key players include Coherent Inc., Cutting Edge Optronics Inc., IPG Photonics Corporation, OSRAM Opto Semiconductors Inc., Sharp Corporation, Sumitomo Corporation, Frankfurt Laser Company, OSI Laser Diode Inc., ROHM Semiconductor U.S.A. LLC, Jenoptik AG, among others.
- March 2019 - Coherent Inc. significantly expanded its Gilching, Germany micromachining and sub-system facility in Gilching, and completed the relocation of the company’s laser marking group from nearby Gunding. This “Center of Excellence”, designated as Coherent Munich was an upgrade to the organization’s applications and R&D capabilities.
- March 2019 - Trumpf's new disk laser TruDisk Pulse 421 generates laser light in the green spectrum at 515 nanometers. It operates in the pulsed mode at a mean power of 400 watts and solves the problems found when using infrared lasers to weld copper.
- December 2018 - Sharp Corporation announced plans to spin-off its semiconductor business in Q2 2019, (possibly in April), and set up two wholly-owned subsidiaries that will engage in semiconductor-related operations. This spin-off could possibly shift the laser diode products to new subsidiaries.
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