Phones, TVs Boost Printed and Flexible Electronics Sales PDF Print E-mail
Written by Mike Buetow   
Friday, 17 May 2013 09:33

CAMBRIDGE, UK -- Demand for OLED displays will drive printed electronics over the next 15 years, a new report says.

The latest data from the research firm IDTechEx projects a 15.3% CAGR over the next decade, mostly driven by OLEDs. That will push the overall market from just north of $16 billion today to $76.8 billion in 2023, IDTechEx says.

Conductive inks, long seen by some as a potential game-changer, are expected to reach $2.7 billion in annual sales in about 15 years.

So far, there have been three billion-dollar sales successes, IDTechEx says: OLEDs, e-paper and conductive ink. OLEDs are seeing continual adoption in cellphones and OLED TV sales have begun this year. IDTechEx see much movement in the display sector, as panel makers try and distance themselves from losses in the LCD industry, caused by new competition from China, and seek to differentiate. The landscape will change – with some East Asian countries potentially unable to afford extensive R&D in OLEDs such as Taiwan and new entrants, such as China. E-paper sales have declined as e-reader sales have declined. To reach that sales peak again new markets are being explored as is colour, video capable bistable displays. IDTechEx find that the overall conductive ink market size is in decline this year as it was last year, due to less use in the photovoltaic market. However, thereafter the market will increase again as the PV sector shakes-out and other markets for conductive inks continue to grow.

Some companies have survived 10 years without making substantial sales or any profit. Some of these are now repositioning from trying to do something very difficult, such as replacing complete existing devices, to simpler things, allowing them to move to market more quickly. Few can keep going after ten years of minimal sales. Examples of new focus include finely printed patterns for transparent conductive films (a $1.8 billion opportunity), improving the performance of lithium batteries (a $25 billion market), enabling supercapacitors for vehicles and consumer electronics ($800,000 million in 2013) and adding 3D touch surfaces to many things, as Ford has done for its overhead consoles in some cars.

There is strong interest in printed electronics enabling part of the Internet of Things vision; researchers are working on bringing together 3D printing with electronics; bioelectronics; touch surfaces everywhere and much more.



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