In early 2020, TrendForce forecasted the release of more than 10 high-end smartphone models equipped with 3D sensing solutions this year, which would drive up 3D sensing VCSEL revenue* to US$1.404 billion. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic put a damper on global smartphone shipment, and the Indian consumer market exhibited strong demand for entry-level and mid-range smartphone models, smartphone brand vendors have subsequently slowed down their pace of integrating 3D sensing solutions into high-end models. TrendForce is revising its forecasted 3D sensing VCSEL (for mobile devices including smartphones and tablets) revenue down to $1.207 billion for 2020, a 12% increase YoY.
Downstream LED lighting demand is highly correlated with the state of the overall economy, according to TrendForce’s latest investigations. LED lighting manufacturers, such as Signify, Acuity Brands, Zumtobel, Leotek (a subsidiary of Lite-On Group), and Unilumin, have each released new outdoor smart lighting products and integrated smart lighting solutions, which are likely to raise the penetration rate of smart LED street lights. TrendForce predicts the global LED smart street light market (which includes only luminaires and single lighting control systems) to reach US$1.094 in total revenue, with a CAGR of 8.2% from 2019 to 2024.
Next-generation Micro/Mini LED display technologies have generated a market which companies hoping to recover from the pandemic-induced global economic downturn look to for the next wave of commercial opportunities. Furthermore, major brands including Samsung, Apple, Facebook, Google, LG, and Sony are also rushing to get a head start in Micro/Mini LED development, in turn galvanizing the growth of the overall supply chain. Total Micro/Mini LED revenue is projected to reach upwards of US$4.2 billion in 2024.
TrendForce’s latest LED Industry Demand and Supply Data Base finds that, by 2024, the global Mini/Micro LED market is projected to reach US$4.2 billion in revenue. The positive outlook of the Mini/Micro LED industry has attracted many investors. Since 2019, total investments in Mini/Micro LED-related projects in China have reached ¥39.1 billion (RMB), with more than 14 newly added projects, according to TrendForce’s investigations. This massive influx of capital is expected to accelerate the overall pace of Mini/Micro LED commercialization.
As Apple’s upcoming release of products featuring Mini LED backlight generates a growth in Mini LED demand, the company has also stimulated actors in the Mini LED supply chain to increase their production capacities. According to the latest investigations by the LEDinside research division of TrendForce, in 1Q21 Apple is expected to not only release its 12.9-inch, Mini LED backlight-equipped iPad Pro, but also open contract bids for its 14-inch and 16-inch MacBooks. Apple has currently chosen Taiwanese manufacturers of display-related components to supply its Mini LED backlights, since Taiwanese suppliers have an advantage in new product development given their superior product stability and technological maturity. Both upstream and downstream suppliers are expected to participate in the Mini LED supply chain, including LED chip manufacturer Epistar, testing and sorting providers FitTech and Saultech, SMT supplier TSMT, and PCB backplane manufacturer Zhen Ding Tech – all of which serve important roles in the development of new Mini LED backlight displays.