It will then grow more strongly as secondary markets such as automotive and industrial take off and is expected grow to an annual value of $15.0 billion in 2026 with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 14.5 percent,

The market mainly serves mobile and consumer and that is still expected to represent 46 percent of the total 3D imaging and sensing market in 2026. Automotive and industrial combined will represent 22 percent of the market in 2026.

3D imaging and sensing market revenue 2016 to 2026 ($millions). Source: Yole Developpement.

“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,” said Richard Liu, analyst at Yole Developpement. “The shipment volume of 3D sensing products recorded in 2020 is about 80 percent of the previous forecast. The gap between previous optimistic forecasts widened as sales leveled off.”

There are numerous technological approaches to 3D sensing. Stereo vision, structured light and time-of-flight are the three most common approaches. LiDAR, often applied to autonomous driving, is still in its infancy.

Next: Apple as kingmaker

Yole reckons Apple is the biggest customer or 3D sensing and it has adopted structured light across its whole line up. Apple released 3D rear-facing camera in iPhone 12 Pro.
The key component suppliers of 3D camera such as STMicroelectronics, Sony, AMS, Lumentum, Largan, and module makers LG Innotek, Sunny Optical benefit from Apple’s purchasing.

Sony is the leader of iToF sensor arrays, but also the only manufacturer that can provide dToF sensor arrays for consumer applications.

Liu said: “In addition to the mobile phone market, automotive ADAS and AR are set to be big 3D sensing applications. In 2020, the rapid growth of electric vehicles with very high intelligence and ADAS brought LIDAR adoption forward. This has attracted a wide range of players, from LiDAR suppliers in traditional industries like Valeo and Velodyne to electronics giants Sony, Huawei and start-ups like Livox and XAOS.”

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