[Photonics West 2018] - 3D Sensing Application Market is in Focus

So far, Photonics West 2018 is the largest-scale photonics exhibition in the United States and its visitors are the most centralized. As an international photonics industry event, Photonics West is annually held in San Francisco. Not a few smart phone manufacturers have been developing 3D sensing embedded devices since Apple launched iPhone X featured with 3D sensing function. Thus, 3D sensing application market and VCSEL product development became the focus of attention in Photonics West 2018.

After becoming the 3D sensing supplier of Apple, Lumentum also gains support from other clients such as Qualcomm, Himax and Orbbec.

Princeton Optronics offers 3D sensing supplementary lighting and IR projection module products in which both Samsung and MIUI show interest. Besides, to achieve 5ºdivergence is Princeton’s product planning in 2018 and it plans to increase MOCVD equipment to partly produce epitaxy in the future.

Finisar continuously pays attention to 3D sensing application market and provides solutions of structured light and ToF (time of flight).

In response to the market demand of 3D sensing application, II-VI provides wafers of 3 inch, 4 inch and 6 inch. In addition, it moves toward the development of IR application market of long wavelength.


As a well-known photonics manufacturer, Excelitas showcased IR laser of 905nm and APD products that can be applied in LIDAR market.

Viavi provides filter for 3D sensing market. Compared to that of other manufacturers, its filter is characterized by considerably high concentration, reaching ±0.4%.

Corning supplies glass material of diffractive optical element for 3D sensing market and develops a variety of special application markets.

Many smart phone companies have been developing 3D sensing embedded devices since Apple launched iPhone X featuring 3D sensor. LEDinside anticipates that the value of global infrared laser projector market for mobile 3D sensing is estimated to reach USD 246 million in 2017, and is forecast to grow to around USD 1.953 billion in 2020. Infrared laser projector has three major components, including infrared laser (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser or Edge-Emitting Laser), WLO (Wafer Level Optics), and DOE (Diffractive Optical Elements). Current costs of infrared laser projector are around US$3.5 to 6, but is estimated to decrease in the future as the technology advances and supply chain strategy improves, boosting the market demand as the result.

LEDinside points out that algorithm, emission pattern and patent will be the three key elements for 3D sensing development in the future. Smart phone brands are now deploying in the market and seeking for cooperation within the supply chain. But obstacles still remain for future development of 3D sensing market, including obtaining algorithm patents, developing third-party application, and increasing the performance-price ratio. According to LEDinside survey, iPhone 9 series (Named Temporarily) in 2018 might probably all equip with 3D sensing technology for Face ID, which bring imagine for the infrared sensing industry.

Author: Joanne Wu/ LEDinside

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