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Uncooled IR Cameras & Detectors for Thermography and Vision
2010 Report

Uncooled IR Cameras & Detectors for Thermography and Vision 2010 Report

Driven by dramatic cost reduction of detectors, the market volume for thermography and infrared vision will triple by 2015!

Market trends

Initially developed for the military market by US defense companies, use of uncooled infrared (IR) cameras in commercial applications has been growing over the last ten years. In the infrared spectrum, Long Wave Infrared (LWIR) is the most commonly used wavelength (8-12 microns). Thermography and a variety of vision enhancement applications are the main growth markets for uncooled IR cameras. Camera prices have been significantly reduced in the thermography business, which has allowed expansion of the use of IR cameras to maintenance engineers and building inspectors.

This camera cost reduction will continue through 2015 in the thermography business and will also be a strong factor in the vision market (also called night vision or vision enhancement) with the growth of the security/surveillance and automotive markets.

Driven by the continued cost reductions, the volumes of camera sold will triple by 2015 from more than 200,000 cameras today to more than 700,000 units, meaning +23 % annual growth rate. The revenue growth will be about + 9% as market prices for the cameras decrease.

FLIR (US) has been, and remains, the pioneer of uncooled IR cameras with a vertically integrated business model (internal detector production) and a presence in all markets. This domination will be challenged at two levels in the future:

  • At the camera level: camera manufacturers specialized in each market have strong distribution networks and market presence. In the thermography business, Fluke will take market share from FLIR. In the security/surveillance market, visible camera leaders will enter the IR camera business (Axis, Bosch, Pelco).
  • At the detector level: new detector suppliers will arrive on the market from the MEMS and semiconductor industry with low cost/high volume product capabilities (Sensonor, Bosch,Faun Infrared...).

One of the major cost components for uncooled IR cameras is the IR detector. Hence, detector cost reduction is one of the major keys to further widespread use of IR cameras.

Microbolometers are the dominant uncooled IR detector technology with more than 95 % of the market in 2010. Microbolometer manufacturers were few up to now, often owned by camera manufacturers, which limited the cost competition at the detector level. More than 75 % of the production is based in USA , due the original development of the technology by US Defense Department. This landscape will change in the next five years: many new players (Sensonor, Faun Infrared, Bosch...), focusing only on selling detectors, often in Europe, will enter on the market place with aggressive price strategies.

Vanadium Oxide (VO x), the current dominant microbolometer material, will be challenged by a-Si material and new silicon based materials introduced by new market entrants, thanks to their cost structure, and easier manufacturability.

Detector/Microbolometer product lines are mainly segmented by format from small format (typically 160 x 120) to large format (640 x 480). Price reduction will be huge with -58 % expected between 2010 and 2015 for small format. Larger format will be under less price pressure.

The following technical trends make detector cost reduction possible:

  • At the packaging level: Wafer Level Packaging and even Pixel Level Packaging will play a huge part in reducing cost, -20 % at least.
  • At the pixel level: smaller pixel size (17 microns is becoming a standard) will allow smaller detectors.
  • At the integration level: 3D integration, wafer bonding techniques will allow the production of microbolometers in standard MEMS or CMOS foundries.

Objectives Of The Report

  • Microbolometer manufacturers:
    • Identify and evaluate IR camera markets with market size, growth and key customers
    • Analyze the threads and opportunities of new emerging technologies (WLP, WLO...)
    • Monitor and benchmark your competitor's advancements
  • Financial & Strategic investors:
    • Understand the main market dynamics and main technological trends
    • Get the list of the key players and emerging start-ups of the camera and detector industries
  • To provide market data on both camera and detector levels:
    • Cameras and detectors unit shipments and revenues
    • Detectors/microbolometer sales and price evolution by format
    • Market share of the detector manufacturers
  • To provide an overview of the IR camera supply chain:
    • Who are the main camera players in each market and their relationships with detector manufacturers
    • Evolution of the camera and detector manufacturers business models
    • Who are the periphery players involved: RO IC, optics, foundries...
  • To analyze the main technological trends for detector/microbolometer :
    • Pixel size reduction, Wafer Level Packaging, 3D integration, Wafer Level Optics, Pixel Level Packaging who shoul d bu y this report
  • Equipment & Material manufacturers:
    • Understand the IR camera and detector supply chain and its evolution
    • Identify new opportunities and prospects
  • Camera manufacturers:
    • Get the list of the top microbolometer detectors manufacturers
    • Spot the new potential suppliers with disruptive technologies
    • Roadmap potential cost reduction of microbolometer
  • Glossary
  • Companies quoted in this report
  • Definitions
  • Market research scope and methodology
  • Executive summary
  • Noteworths news 2010 & 2009
  • Overview of IR detection technologies
    • IR technologies wavelength segmentation
    • Infrared imaging functions
    • IR detection functions : vision enhancement, thermography
    • Infrared wavelength, functions and markets
    • IR detectors technologies cooled and uncooled
    • IR detectors : two approaches -Thermal & Quantum IR detection
    • IR detectors classification & corresponding materials
    • Technologies vs. wavelength vs. players
    • Players & technologies for uncooled IR imagers
    • Conclusions on IR technologies
  • IR uncooled camera market analysis
    • Uncooled IR cameras 2015 for market forecast in value ($M) and in units
    • Uncooled IR camera business models and trends
    • Main IR cameras manufacturers positionning
    • Uncooled IR cameras players and trends
    • Camera pricing evolution
    • Comparison with CMOS image sensor evolution
    • IR camera and microbolometer vision for 2020
  • Thermography markets
    • Thermography camera market 2015 forecast in revenues and number of units
    • Thermal imaging camera categories
    • Thermal imaging camera market players and 2009 market share
    • Predictive maintenance (electrical, mechanical)
    • Building inspection
    • Other thermography applications
    • Thermal imaging camera sales mix and pricing (2009)
    • Applications per type of products (breakdown in revenues, 2009)
    • Positioning of main IR cameras manufacturers products range
    • IR camera manufacturers positionning
    • Portable test & measurement market : strong synergies with thermal imaging market
    • FLIR thermography segmentation evolution
    • IR thermography cameras supply-Chain
    • Main thermography trends for 2015
  • Vision enhancement commercial markets
    • Vision enhancement camera 2015 forecast in revenues and in units
    • IR vision enhancement cameras (without automotive) supply-Chain
    • Surveillance CCTV : big CCTV players are adopting the thermal IR technology
    • Surveillance CCTV
    • Maritime
    • Fire fighting
    • Automotive vision enhancement
    • IR automotive vision enhancement cameras supply-Chain
    • Automotive vision enhancement : NIR vs FIR detection
    • Some luxury car models with vision enhancement
    • NIR driver assistance system (Bosch example)
    • Automotive vision enhancement trends : toward pedestrian safety systems
    • Two major European R&D projects for IR vision enhancement system enhancement (NVE )
    • Automotive vision – Adose/Bosch project FIR & NIR complementary visions
    • Conclusion on automotive vision enhancement
    • Automotive – airbag passenger presence detection (PPD)
  • IR detectors /microbolometers market analysis
    • Uncooled IR detectors : microbolometer is the leading technology
    • Microbolometer market 2015 forecast in value ($) and in units
    • Microbolometer production sites
    • Current microbolometer players : a concentrated market
    • Microbolometer manufacturers 2009 market shares in units
    • Current microbolometer manufacturers products line : higher resolution as a 'Holy Graal'
    • 2009 market estimation by detector format
    • Microbolometer main formats per markets
    • Microbolometers : pixels size and format trends
    • IR microbolometers price decrease
    • aSi and Silicon based microbolometer market drivers
    • Microbolometer European new comers
    • The Sweden IR detector cluster
    • Current microbolometer players : geographical production breakdown
    • New microbolometers manufacturers products line : array size & pitch size
    • New comers time to market
    • a-Si microbolometer technology roadmaps
    • Uncooled IR camera price breakdown
    • IR microbolometer supply chain with peripheric players
  • Microbolometers description
    • Quantum (cooled) vs. thermal detector
    • What are microbolometers
    • Microbolometer roadmap
    • Microbolometers principle
    • VO x microbolometer pixel array : FLIR Systems Indigo from Extech i5
    • Infrared camera
    • VO x microbolometer technology history
    • a-Si vs. VO x
    • Ulis/Leti collaborative roadmap
    • Microbolometer technology process flow
    • New approach by Sensonor
    • New approach by Bosch
  • Microbolometers technical evolution
    • Technical evolutions for microbolometers
    • Major technical developments per players
    • Microbolometer WLP/WLO & monolithic RO IC players roadmap
    • Simplified optics & WLO
    • Simplified optics & Wafer Level Optics (WLO)
    • Simplified optics & WLO
    • New pixel materials
    • New pixel materials : Mitsubishi example
    • New pixel materials : Why QW SiGe/Ge
    • Main technical develoments per players : 3D Integration
    • 3D Integration : Example of loophole configuration FLIR Systems
    • Indigo from Extech i5 Infrared Camera
    • 3D Integration 3D RO IC / loophole: the different approaches
    • New Approach from Fraunhofer IMS
    • 3D Integration3D IC Integration of Si/SiGe IR Bolometer with RO IC
    • Packaging : required hermeticity for micro bolometer
    • Packaging : Wafer Scale Packaging
    • Packaging : Pixel-level WLP
    • Microbolometers testing
    • Example of test results
    • Conclusions on the microbolometers technical evolutions
  • Conclusions
  • Appendixes
    • Uncooled IR players
    • Uncooled IR players
    • Company profiles
    • Uncooled IR detector technologies
    • Other approaches
  • Yole Développement
  • Companies Cited In The Report
    • Axis Communications
    • Acreo
    • Aerius
    • Agiltron
    • Argus
    • e2v
    • Audi
    • Autoliv
    • BAE systems
    • BMW
    • Bosch
    • Automotive
    • Bosch Security Systems
    • Bullard
    • Dali
    • Chauvin Arnoux
    • Current Corporation
    • Dalsa
    • DAS Photonics
    • Draeger
    • DRS technologies
    • Electro Optic Sensors
    • EO C
    • ETH
    • Extech
    • GE Security
    • FocalPlane Santa Barbara
    • Fraunhofer IMS
    • Faun Infrared
    • FLIR
    • Fluke
    • GM
    • Goodrich
    • Guide Infrared
    • Honda
    • Honeywell
    • Infrared Solutions
    • INO
    • Ipht Jena
    • Invisage
    • Irisys
    • ISG
    • Jenoptik
    • KTH
    • L3Com
    • Leti
    • Metu MET
    • Mikrosistemler
    • Mitsubishi Electric
    • MSA
    • Murata
    • NE C Avio
    • NT
    • Noble Peak Vision
    • OKS I
    • Omnivision
    • Panasonic
    • Pelco
    • QinetiQ
    • Raytheon
    • Redshift
    • Sarnoff
    • Satir
    • Samsung
    • Scott
    • SCD Semiconductors
    • SensArray Infrared
    • Sensonor
    • Silex
    • Sirica
    • Sony
    • Sumitomo Electric
    • Testo
    • Thermoteknix Systems
    • Toshiba
    • Tyco
    • Tyndall
    • Umicore
    • Ulis
    • Vigo
    • Xenics
    • Ziptronix.
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