Thursday, June 17, 2021

Yole on Market Trends in 3D Imaging and Sensing

Yole Developpement publishes "3D Imaging and Sensing – Technology and Market Trends 2021." Few quotes:

"The rise of the mobile 3D sensing market is slowing, but the next wave is coming.

In mobile markets there is a temporary hiatus in growth of 3D sensing due to the ban of Huawei in the US as well as the fact that the Android camp has abandoned the technology.

The shipment volume of 3D sensing products recorded in 2020 is about 80% of the previous forecast. The gap between previous optimistic forecasts widened as sales leveled off. But underdisplay camera technology became mature, and there are more low-cost indirect Time-of-Flight (iToF) sensing solutions. These could drive higher 3D sensing adoption and a return to growth around 2023.

Apple continues to use front-facing structured light throughout all iPhone series. It also introduced a 3D camera with a direct ToF (dToF) array sensor into the iPhone 12 Pro, a step forward for the 3D sensing market.

Besides mobile phones, 3D sensing technology has a broad consumer market, including tablets, Virtual and Augmented Reality (VR/AR), robot vacuum cleaners, and Artificial Intelligence combined with the Internet of Things (AIoT).

Yole Développement expects the global 3D imaging and sensing market to expand from $6.8B in 2020 to $15.0B in 2026, at a 14.5% Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR).

In the mobile and consumer worlds, some bigger players have paused upgrading of cameras with 3D sensing temporarily. However, we are seeing some small smartphone players start to use iToF cameras to enhance photography, such as Sony and Meizu. Apple, on schedule, used a dToF rear module on the iPad Pro and the iPhone 12 Pro in 2020. It still uses structured light as its face identification in its whole series of products.

Yole forecasts that 69.2 million smartphones with ToF cameras will be shipped globally in 2021.

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