Engineering 101

Photonic IC Market Expected to Exhibit CAGR of 42.6%

The Global Photonic IC Market, is expected to be valued at $17,075.6 million by 2027, exhibiting a CAGR of 42.6% during the forecast period (2020-2027), as highlighted in a report published by Coherent Market Insights.

 A photonic integrated circuit (IC) is a device that integrates two or more photonic functions similar to an electronic integrated circuit. Photonic ICs are used in fiber-optic communications to multiplex and demultiplex Wavelength Division Multiplex (WMD) carrier signals.

The main difference between electronic integrated circuits and photonic ICs lies in the type of raw material used for its fabrication. In electronic ICs, silicon is the primary and most dominant material used for fabrication so far, while in the case of PICs, the type of material used majorly depends upon the function/purpose of the device.

Chip manufacturers are focused on enhancing power efficiency by reducing power consumption. Photonic ICs use photons in place of electrons to store and transfer data. The use of photons as the data carrier significantly improves power efficiency as a single photon is sufficient to both activate a transistor and store a bit of information. Photonic integrated semiconductor optical amplifier (SOA) gate-based circuits are known to consume low power. This is owing to loose state within a fraction of time and at the expense of low voltage electronics.

Furthermore, integration using PICs offers reduced coupling losses, fewer cooler circuits, and co-location of active elements that leads to a reduction in power consumption. The use of photonic ICs in solid-state light sources like LED lamps has outperformed nearly all other sources in terms of power efficiency. Thus, these factors are expected to drive the growth of the global photonic IC market during the forecast period.

Rising use in optical computing can present lucrative growth opportunities in the global photonic IC market

Optical or photonic computing uses photons reduced by laser or diodes for computation. Photonic ICs play a key role in optical computing. Optical computing is used in synthetic aperture radar (SAR) and optical correlators. Key companies in the market can capitalize on these opportunities by providing novel products and gain a competitive edge in the market as per Coherent Market Insights’s study.

Unlike electronic ICs which involve wires interconnecting millions of components in three dimensions, photonic ICs generally rely on a single plane of optical-waveguide interconnects. These interconnections in photonic ICs have more stringent tolerances than their electrical equivalents. Moreover, in the case of electronic ICs, the electrical current in the wires is transferred to different layers and positions with minimum loss, while photonic ICs suffer from unacceptable high optical loss due to relatively weak confinement of optical waves.

Another reason for the loss in photonic ICs is that the steering of waveguides in two dimensions involves a large number of waveguide crossings. Moreover, the conventional thin-film planar technology is not suitable to vertically interconnect different layers in 3D photonic ICs. All these design issues have increased the circuit complexity, limiting the use of PICs. Thus, these factors are expected to hinder the global photonic IC market growth in the near future.

North America Trends

Among regions, North America is expected to witness significant growth in the global photonic IC market during the forecast period. This is owing to large presence of major market players such as Intel, Hewlett Packard, Agilent Technologies, and Avago Technologies. Moreover, increasing use of lasers in various sectors is expected to boost the regional market growth in the near future.

Europe Trends

Europe is expected to register robust growth rate in the global photonic IC market over the forecast period. This is owing to rising use of monolithic photonic ICs across the region. Moreover, increasing application of hybrid photonic ICs is expected to accelerate the regional market growth in the near future.

Global Photonic IC Market – Impact of COVID-19

Due to Covid-19 pandemic, many industries witnessed significant shift in their business. The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected many industries in the countries. This is due to lockdown imposed by several countries to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Increased demand for UV-C LEDs in the medical industry is expected to drive the growth of photonics IC market till the time coronavirus is not properly cured. The UV-C LEDs is used for decontamination and increased the demand of photonic IC and demand will keep on increasing till the time coronavirus is not completely cured.

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