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Overview of Light Sensing Semiconductor Industry

A. Industry background

The light-sensing semiconductor industry is a significant sector within the semiconductor industry that specializes in the development, manufacturing, and sale of various light sensors, including photoresistors, photodiodes, photoelectric crystals, and optical sensors. These light sensors have broad applications in various fields such as imaging and image sensing, environmental monitoring, automotive lighting, and automation applications. With the advancement of the Internet of Things and artificial intelligence, the demand for light sensors has increased significantly, making the industry’s future prospects promising.

B. Market demand

The market demand of the photo-sensing semiconductor industry is continuously  growing. Due to their wide range of applications, light sensors are in demand in many industries including medical, industrial, automotive, aerospace, and consumer electronics, among others. Among them, automotive lighting and other automotive-related applications are among the fastest growing markets. In addition, developments in technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, and automation are also driving the growth in demand for light sensors.


According to a report by market research company Yole Développement, in 2019, the most common type of light sensor on the market is the back-illuminated CMOS image sensor (BIS), and its market size is about 14 billion U.S. dollars, accounting for 20% of the total light sensor market. 46%. The report predicts that the market will grow at a CAGR of 5% by 2025, of which the market size of BIS is expected to grow to USD 20 billion.

Self-driving car applications, according to Yole Développement’s report, the global LiDAR market size in 2019 is about 1.46 billion US dollars, of which self-driving car applications account for 75% of the market. The report predicts that by 2025, the global LiDAR market size will reach $6.8 billion, at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32%.

The actual data of the light sensor market shows that this industry will continue to maintain a growth trend.

C. Light Sensor technologies

The development of light sensors depends on advancements in many related technologies, including optics, optoelectronics, semiconductor processing technology, and microelectromechanical systems. These advancements enable light sensors to be smaller, more precise, more reliable, and more economical. Additionally, technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning provide wider application possibilities for light sensors, creating more opportunities for innovation and growth.

Below is a brief analysis of the market growth potential for five light sensor technologies in the next five years:

  1. CIS (CMOS Image Sensor): The market prospect of CIS technology is good because of its wide application in industries such as consumer electronics and automobiles. With the increasing demand for high-quality images and the continuous development of emerging markets such as autonomous driving and smart cities, the market potential of CIS technology is still very large.
  2. ALS (Ambient Light Sensor): With the popularity of consumer electronics products such as smartphones and wearable devices, the ALS technology market will maintain steady growth. In addition, as people’s awareness of health and safety increases, the market demand for ALS technology in medical and health applications will gradually increase.
  3. SPAD (Single Photon Avalanche Diode): The demand for SPAD technology in applications such as 3D imaging and security inspection is gradually increasing, and the market potential is also expanding. In the future, with the application of SPAD technology in emerging markets such as robotics, autonomous driving, and virtual reality, the market potential of SPAD technology will be even more impressive.
  4. PD (Photodiode): PD technology is widely used in applications such as optical communication and laser measurement, and the market prospect is stable. With the development of 5G technology and optical communication technology, the market demand for PD technology will continue to grow.
  5. APD (avalanche photodiode): APD technology is widely used in applications such as optical communication and lidar, and the market prospect is stable. With the development of emerging markets such as 5G technology and autonomous driving, the market demand for APD technology is also expected to continue to grow.

According to market research data, the total market value of the five photosensors is expected to continue to grow in the next five years. The total market value in 2020 is 18.382 billion US dollars, and it is expected to grow to 28.022 billion US dollars in 2025. In addition, the average compound annual growth rate of the five types of light sensors is 8.02%.

Among them, SPAD technology has the greatest growth potential, with a compound annual growth rate of up to 14%.