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Demand for Optoelectronics, Sensors, and Discretes Stalls

After strong growth in 2011, the global market for optoelectronics, sensors/actuators, and discrete semiconductors (OSD) will rise just 2 percent in 2012, according to researcher IC Insights.

Sluggish OSD growth is due to weak economic conditions worldwide and modest electronics systems. Revenue growth in electronics systems manufacturing will slow to 3 percent in 2012 after growing 6 percent in 2011.

Slowing systems demand means the OSD market will grow just 2 percent to $58.2 billion in 2012. Earlier, IC Insights had forecast 7 percent revenue growth for the segment.

The good news is that optoelectronics demand is healthy. Revenue for optoelectronics is forecast to rise by 8 percent in 2012 and reach a new record high of $27.5 billion. Optoelectronics growth is driven by strong sales growth of new solid-state lighting applications and CMOS image sensors used in digital cameras for smartphones, tablet computers, surveillance networks, and other equipment. Sales of sensors and actuator devices are projected to rise by just 2 percent in 2012, but that will set a new record high of $8.7 billion, while the commodity-filled discretes segment is expected to fall 6 percent to $22 billion.

The total overall semiconductor market is forecast to be $317.6 billion in 2012, a 1 percent decline from 2011.

IC Insights is forecasting modest revenue growth in all three OSD market segments as electronics systems manufacturing strengthens and the overall economy improves in 2013.

Optoelectronics revenue will grow 7 percent in 2013 to $29.3 billion; sensors/actuators sales will rise 10 percent to about $9.6 billion, and revenue for discretes will rebound by 5 percent to reach $23.1 billion, according to IC Insights.