The global laser diode market is dominated by key players such as Coherent Inc., Rofin-Sinar Technologies Inc., and ASML Holding NV. According to Transparency Market Research, these three collectively accounted for more than 50% of the market in 2013. The global laser diode market is fairly consolidated, with the abundant availability of raw materials such as copper and zinc allowing suppliers to dictate the price structure of the market.
The demonstrable superiority of laser diodes over conventional laser sources has made the threat from internal substitutes a low priority, while the high investment costs required to set up a laser diode business means the risk of new players entering the market in the coming years is also low. New players also suffer from a notable lack of skilled technicians to manufacture laser diodes.
Rising Demand for Multiple Applications of Laser Diodes Drives Global Laser Diode Market
Of the key applications of laser diodes, factory automation and material processing, medical applications, communication, and data storage are all enjoying growing demand, thus driving the laser diode market. The rising implementation of fiber optic communication technology also bodes well for laser diodes, as high-speed laser diodes are used to transmit digital information through fiber optic cables. The increasing number of Internet users in emerging regions such as Latin America and Southeast Asia is also beneficial for the laser diode market.
Laser diodes are becoming the norm rather than the exception due to the favorable combination of properties they offer. They are less expensive to maintain than conventional sources of laser, such as solid state and CO2 laser, consume less power, and have longer maintenance intervals. This has resulted in laser diodes replacing conventional laser sources in several applications.
In the field of material processing, a key end use segment of the laser diode market, laser diodes present several advantages over conventional processing techniques such as plasma, flame, and waterjet. Laser diodes can be used in multiple applications, including cutting, drilling, engraving, welding, and ablation. They can also be used on multiple materials such as most metals, glass, wood, and plastics. This represents a significant advantage over other material processing techniques, which can usually only be used for a particular process and on a particular material.
High Initial Costs Hamper Large-scale Installation of Laser Diodes
Of the two key restraints on the global laser diode market, the high cost of laser diodes is a prominent one. Despite the advantages of laser diodes in material processing, their high costs have come in the way of large-scale adoption, as many end users have opted to retain conventional technology due to the inability to purchase laser diode technology.
The low power output of each individual laser diode is another crucial restraint on the market. Despite their advantages, multiple laser diodes are often needed in intensive applications, leading to increased purchasing costs.
The use of rare earth elements in laser diodes is also cause for concern, as mining activities for rare earth elements have a devastating long-term impact on the local ecology.
Healthcare, Consumer Electronics to Exhibit Rapid Growth in Demand for Laser Diodes
Of the major application segments of the laser diode market, the automotive industry accounts for close to 25% of the total demand. However, though it will remain the leading consumer of laser diodes over the forecast period, the share of the automotive industry in the global laser diode market is set to drop in the coming years. On the other hand, the consumer electronics and healthcare industries are expected to exhibit a swift rise in demand over the coming years.
Geographically, Asia Pacific is by far the leading consumer of laser diodes, with the regional market’s share in the global revenue set to be more than 45% in 2020.Though North America and Europe are expected to collectively hold more than 45% of the market by 2020, their market share is expected to drop in the coming years, with the Rest of the World posting strong growth figures in recent years.
The information presented in this review is based on a Transparency Market Research report, titled, ‘Laser Diode Market - Global Industry Analysis, Size, Share, Growth, Trends and Forecast, 2014 - 2020.’
The global laser diode market is segmented as follows:
Laser Diode Market: By geography
- North America
- Asia Pacific
Laser Diode Market: By doping materials
Laser Diode Market: By applications
- Consumer Electronics
Laser Diode Market: By technology
- Double Hetero structure Laser Diodes
- Quantum Well Laser Diodes
- Quantum Cascade Laser Diodes
- Distributed Feedback Laser Diodes
- Separate Confinement Hetero structure (SCH) Laser Diodes
- VCSEL Diodes
- VECSEL Diodes
Laser Diode Market: By property (wavelength)
- Infrared Laser Diode
- Red Laser Diode
- Blue Laser Diode
- Blue Violet Laser Diode
- Green Laser Diode
- Ultraviolet Laser Diode
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