Combined flexible & printed electronic applications could reach US$1B in 2020. Multiple applications are driving growth!
TECHNICAL CHALLENGES ARE CLOSE TO BEING OVERCOME TO REACH US$1B MARKET BY 2020
Today flexible & printed electronics create a lot of hope. And a supply chain is being created to support an industrial infrastructure. In our report, we have identified and tracked the five main functionalities of flexible & printed electronics: displaying, sensing, lighting, energy generating and substrates. The different degrees of freedom in flexibility that can be obtained can be divided into:
- Conformable substrate: the flexible substrate will be shaped in a definitive way after processing
- “Bendable” substrate: they can be rolled and bent many times (even if we consider it will not be a key feature coming from customer needs)
- “Unused” flexibility: in the end, the flexibility is not an added value to the customer
We believe some applications will be more likely than other to be successful – for example, bendable applications will undergo tough stress during use and technological challenges will be hard to overcome. Our report shows the distinction between the functions (displaying, lighting, energy conversion, sensing & substrates) and the seek flexibility “degree of freedom”. We do not make the distinction in our report between organic and inorganic substrates as semiconductors can also be used as flexible substrates.
However, we believe over the next several years, the number of applications using printing processes for flexible electronics will grow (Figure on page 2).
We estimate the printed & flexible electronics market will grow from ~ $176M in 2013 to ~$950M in 2020 with a 27% CAGR in market value. Printed OLED displays for large size (TVs) are likely to become the largest market. For OLED lighting, we believe it will grow but remain a niche market for automotive and/ or office lighting. For PV, the market demand by 2020 will remain very low compared to the demand for rigid PV, largely below 1% of the global market demand by 2020. Sensor, smart system & polytronic applications will include sensors, touchless / touch screens, RF ID applications.
A WIDE, EXCITING RANGE OF NEW APPLICATIONS
Printed & flexible electronics is a new exiting technology with large potential market expectations. Indeed, as semiconductors move to the very small with 22nm critical dimension, printed electronics moves to the other end of the spectrum with its own material, equipment, process challenges and supply chain. Printed electronics will not kill semiconductor electronics as it will not be a replacement for CMOS silicon.
More info at http://www.i-micronews.com/reports/Flexible-Based-Printed-Electronics-Technologies/6/367/