Global demand for infrared detectors continues to be influenced by their growing applications in industrial, military, medical, and automotive domain. Some of the common applications of infrared detectors include gas leak and flame detection, petroleum exploration, and temperature sensing. On account of wide-ranging applications, the global infrared detectors market is likely to grow at a steady pace during the forecast period 2017-2022.

Asia Pacific Excluding Japan (APEJ) at the Forefront of Global Sales

Infrared detectors have been pervasive in developed countries, however, price decrease on account of technological innovation has meant that end-users in developing countries are able to afford infrared detectors. The strong pace of development in developing countries is likely to provide catalysis to demand for infrared detectors in emerging markets such as Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APEJ). Pervasive demand for infrared applications has made APEJ one of the leading markets for infrared detectors globally. The APEJ infrared detector market is poised to grow at a higher pace than the global average during the forecast period.

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One of the key factors why demand for infrared sensors is growing in APEJ is due to the strong consumer electronics market in the region. Demand for smartphones, laptops, music players, and other consumer electronics items has remained sustained in the APEJ, which has given boost to the infrared detectors market. The consumer electronics market in APEJ is on a solid footing, and is projected to grow at a healthy pace in the future. The growth in consumer electronics market is likely to create growth opportunities for infrared detector manufacturers in the foreseeable future.

Although infrared detectors continue to be used widely, inaccuracy has remained a longstanding challenge. These detectors are unable to detect differences in objects that have a similar temperature range. This limits their application where accuracy is of prime importance. There have been innovations in this regard, with researchers from a number of universities in the UK successfully developing graphene-based pyroelectric bolometer that has a high level of accuracy. Although technological advancement has brought down the prices of infrared detectors, many small and medium establishments are still reluctant to invest in these devices, owing to the perception that these devices don’t offer value for money.

Among end-users, a preference for long wavelength infrared detectors (LWIR) has been observed. In terms of global revenues, sales of LWIR account for nearly one-third revenue share; this trend is likely to continue during the forecast period. Demand for infrared cameras that work on LWIR has remained high in the defense sector, and it is highly likely the status quo will remain unchanged during the forecast period. Spending on R&D to build the next-gen of infrared cameras is likely to result into advanced products, further boosting the demand for infrared detectors.

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There has been considerable interest in applications of infrared detectors for space exploration projects. Development of Advanced Superlattice Infrared detectors for Space Application (ASISA) can create growth opportunities for manufacturers.

Manufacturers of infrared detectors continue to bank on R&D to introduce technologically advanced products in the market. Considering the nature of this industry, collaborations with universities remains a strategically important move for manufacturers. Research and development on part of manufacturers will remain important for future developments in infrared detectors.

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