Optoelectronics is the science and application of electronics that use light as their source and can detect and control the various properties of light. Optoelectronics as a science is generally accepted as a branch of photonics. By definition, in addition to visible light, optoelectronics also includes light in the form of radiation such as gamma radiation, X-rays, infrared, and ultraviolet radiation. Optoelectronics is directly connected to semiconductors as it has its origins in the quantum mechanical effects of light on electronic materials, especially semiconductors, and can also be sometimes used with an application of electric fields of various intensities.
At present, optoelectronics is the fastest growing segment in the semiconductor market and revenues from these products are increasing multi-fold every year. The vast application segments within semiconductors and particularly those which aim towards energy-efficiency are leading to innovations and developments in LEDs, image sensors and other such optoelectronics. The major optoelectronics segments by application are light-emitting diodes (LEDs), OLEDs, internet and compact disk (CDs), DVDs, and Blue-Ray devices on computers. The optoelectronics segments by type are considered to be lasers, optical discs, image sensors, optical fibers and others.
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The optoelectronics market is self-driven by its segments which are classified by type and application, such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs), OLEDs, Internet and compact disk (CDs), DVDs, and Blue-Ray devices on computers as well as lasers, optical discs, image sensors, optical fibers, and some others. The ever-growing demand for these products and their easy availability are the most important aspects translating into growth in the optoelectronics industry. Additionally, the ever-increasing spending power of people in the Asia-Pacific region is contributing to a major increase in sales in the region and for optoelectronics as a whole.
One of the major factors restraining the growth of this market is their higher cost compared to conventional products. In case of the application market, liquid crystal displays (LCDs) are the major substitutes for LEDs and are much more economical in spite of a definite difference in the quality. The replacement cost for spare parts is also very high and this is a major hurdle in the sales of LEDs which occupy the major revenue segment in optoelectronics.
Some of the market players in this industry segment are Sony Corp., Sharp Corp., Toshiba Corp., Panasonic, ROHM, Avago Technologies, BetaLED, Philips and others.
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