Terahertz Radiation Systems: Technologies and Global Markets
- June 2017
- 148 pages
- BCC Research
- The global market for terahertz radiation devices and systems reached $56.4 million in 2016. This market is expected to increase from $57.3 million in 2017 to $335.1 million in 2022 and $1.3 billion in 2027 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 42.4% for 2017-2022.
- The imaging market is expected to grow from $39.8 million in 2017 to $175.9 million in 2022 at a CAGR of 34.6% from 2017 through 2022.
- The spectroscopy market is expected to grow from $17.5 million in 2017 to $20.3 million in 2022 at a CAGR of 3.0% from 2017 through 2022.
Over the last 100 years or so, physicists and engineers have progressively learned to exploit new areas of the electromagnetic spectrum. Starting with visible light, they have developed technologies for generating and detecting radiation at both higher and lower frequencies.
Sandwiched between the optical on the short wavelength side and radio on the long wavelength extreme, the terahertz (THz) frequency range (also called the far infrared or submillimeter-wave region) has been the least explored and developed portion of the electromagnetic spectrum. The potential usefulness of THz radiation, with its ability to penetrate a wide range of nonconducting materials, has been known for a long time. The first images generated using THz radiation date from as far back as the 1960s.
Practical applications of THz radiation have been longer in coming, however, due to the so-called “terahertz gap.”
The terahertz gap refers to the technologies needed to generate, channel and detect THz radiation subject to real-world constraints, such as size, cost and operating temperatures. Recent developments in THz radiation sources, detectors and waveguides have started to close the terahertz gap, opening up a range of potential applications in transportation security, medical imaging, nondestructive testing and other fields.
Study Goals and Objectives
Specific objectives include:
- Identifying the THz applications that are most likely to achieve significant commercial sales by 2027.
- Assessing any remaining barriers to their commercialization, and developing quantitative estimates of potential sales.
- Analyzing promising THz applications in the context of user needs and competing technologies.
- Developing quantitative market projections through 2027.
- Identifying companies that are well positioned to profit from these trends.
Reasons for Doing This Study
BCC considers the time appropriate for an update. There is a growing interest in terahertz radiation applications and markets. As Henrij Komrij, General Manager of Keysight Technologies (Santa Rosa, Calif.), expressed it,” it’s a combination of the technology being advanced and the drivers in the market driving more research and investment into the technology of terahertz applications.”
Scope of Report
The report addresses the emerging global market for THz radiation devices, including the classes of devices listed below.
- Imaging devices.
- Other sensors.
- Communications devices.
- Computing devices.
The study format includes the following major elements:
- Executive summary.
- General properties of THz radiation.
- Historical milestones in the development of THz radiation devices.
- Emerging and developmental THz radiation technologies and applications that have the greatest commercial potential through 2027.
- Detailed market estimates and projections for each technology and application during the period 2017 to 2022.
- General assessment of expected market trends in the longer term (2022 to 2027).
- Industry structure.
- Patent analysis.
Both primary and secondary research methodologies were used in preparing this study. A comprehensive review of the literature related to the applications and technology of rigid clear polymers and significant new developments was undertaken. Supplier and trade literature, texts and monographs were included in the review.
Projecting the market for emerging technologies, whose commercial potential has not yet been proven, is a challenging task. This is nowhere truer than the THz radiation field, which may help to explain why many analysts focus on supply-side technology assessments.
BCC Research’s objective in this report is to provide not just a technology assessment, however, but also an initial commercial assessment of the potential commercial market for THz devices. To accomplish this objective, BCC Research used a multiphase approach to identify the technologies with the greatest commercial potential and quantify the related markets.
In the first phase of the analysis, BCC Research identified a long list of THz technologies and applications, including those that are still under development. In the second phase, BCC Research eliminated those applications that appear to have little likelihood of making it into commercial use in the next five to 10 years, which was accomplished through a literature review and interviews with industry sources. The result of phase two was a short list of THz technologies with the greatest commercial potential over the time period covered by this report.
The third phase focused on quantifying the potential market for each short-listed THz technology, by application, and identifying the main prerequisites for commercial success. Phase three actually had two phases: 1) development of near-to midterm (2017 to 2022) projections, and 2) development of longer- term (2022 to 2027) projections.
The development of such long-term projections is a departure from the usual BCC Research report format, necessitated by the long time frame for commercialization of many of the technologies analyzed in this report. Obviously, the projections for the out-years beyond 2022 are more tentative than the projections for 2017 to 2022.
The specific assumptions and approach BCC Research used to develop the projections (both near-
/midterm and long-term) for each THz technology and application are documented in detail under the various segments addressed. This way, readers can see how the market estimates were developed and, if they so desire, test the impact on the final numbers of changing the underlying assumptions.
One of the approaches used by BCC Research deserves special mention here. Particularly in the case of THz applications that are still under development, BCC Research used the sales performance of non-THz applications that share some of the same functions or other characteristics with the respective THz applications as a benchmark for assessing the latter’s sales potential.
The market projections in this report include the entire global market.
Summary and Highlights
BCC Research estimates the total market for THz systems at $56.4 million in 2016. The market should increase slightly by the end of 2017 to $57.3 million. The bulk of the market in 2013-2014 is in astronomy applications, including earth satellites and space probes.
The development of new commercial THz applications should push the market to $335.1 million in 2022. The diversification of the THz market is expected to accelerate after 2022, and the total market should exceed $1.3 billion by 2027.
Astronomy research is currently the largest single application of THz systems. However, by 2022, THz transport applications are expected to surpass astronomy in importance. By 2027, computing, transport security, biomedical imaging and military communications are all expected to surpass astronomy research in importance.
Consumer applications are notably missing from this list. According to Mona Jerrahi, Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering and director of the Terahertz Electronics Lab at UCLA, “One of the things that is still missing in the field that has prevented exponential growth on the consumer market has been identifying a ‘killer application’ like what cell phone industry did, like what computer industry did that can bring big flow of funding and resources and experts to the field”.
Chapter 1: Introduction 1
Study Goals and Objectives 1
Reasons for Doing This Study 1
Scope of Report 2
Information Sources 2
Geographic Breakdown 3
Analyst's Credentials 5
Related BCC Research Reports 5
Chapter 2: Summary and Highlights 7
Chapter 3: Market and Technology Background 11
General Description of Terahertz Radiation 11
Definition and General Description 11
THz Enabling Technologies 16
THz Sources 16
THz Detectors 19
THz Waveguides 22
THz Switches, Regulators, Lenses, and Other Devices 23
New Materials and Technologies 26
Types of THz Systems 30
Imaging Systems 31
Communications Devices 32
Therapeutic Devices 32
Potential THz End Uses and Applications 33
Overall Market Size and Segmentation 34
Market Size 34
Application Segments 34
Chapter 4: Terahertz Imaging Systems 38
Active vs. Passive Systems 38
Type of Illumination 38
Technological Hurdles 39
End Uses and Applications 44
Security and Public Safety 44
Scientific Research 51
Security and Public Safety 55
Scientific Research 63
Chapter 5: Terahertz Spectroscopes 67
Reflective vs. Transmission Detection 67
Technological Hurdles 68
End Uses and Applications 69
Scientific Research 69
Scientific Research 71
Chapter 6: Terahertz Sensors 74
THz Biochips 74
Moisture Detectors 74
Security and Public Safety 75
Security and Public Safety 78
Chapter 7: Terahertz Communications Systems 84
End Uses and Applications 88
Satellite-to-Satellite Communications 89
Indoor Wireless Communications 89
Tactical (Military) Communications 89
Chapter 8: Terahertz Computing 99
End Uses and Applications 100
Chapter 9: Other Terahertz Technologies 104
THz Pulse Technology 104
End Uses and Applications 104
Cancer Therapy 104
Chapter 10: Industry Structure 107
Annual Sales 108
Product Specialization 109
Chapter 11: Government-sponsored THz Research Programs 113
United States 113
Federal-level Initiatives 113
Individual State Initiatives 117
European Union 118
European Space Agency 121
Individual Governments 121
Chapter 12: Patent Review/ New Developments 124
About BCC Research 132
List of Tables
Summary Table: Global Market for Terahertz Radiation Devices and Systems, by Type, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 7
Table 1 Potential End Uses and Applications of THz Radiation 33
Table 2 Global Market for THz Systems, by End-user Segment, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 34
Table 3 Companies Manufacturing or Developing THz Imaging Devices 43
Table 4 Potential THz Imaging End Uses and Applications 44
Table 5 THz Nondestructive Testing Applications 49
Table 6 Global Market for THz Imaging, by Application, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 53
Table 7 Global Market for THz and Other Airport Security Screening Equipment, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 56
Table 8 Global Market for THz Imaging Devices for Healthcare Applications, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 57
able 9 Global Market for THz Medical Imaging Devices Applications, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 57
Table 10 Global Market for Intraoperative Imaging Equipment, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 58
Table 11 Global Market for Intraoperative Terahertz Imaging Equipment, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 59
Table 12 Global Market for Terahertz Skin Cancer Imaging Equipment, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 59
Table 13 Global Market for Terahertz Endoscopes, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 60
Table 14 Global Market for Terahertz Dental Caries Imaging Equipment, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 61
Table 15 Global Market for Terahertz Burn Diagnostic Instruments, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 61
Table 16 Global Market for Terahertz Imaging Equipment for NDT Applications, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 62
Table 17 Global Market for Terahertz Astronomical Imaging Equipment, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 63
Table 18 Global Market for Terahertz Military Radar Applications, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 64
Table 19 Global Market for Compact, Low-cost THz Cameras, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 65
Table 20 Companies Manufacturing and/or Developing THz Spectroscopes 70
Table 21 Global Market for THz Spectroscopy Equipment for Scientific Research Applications, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 71
Table 22 Potential THz Sensor End-uses and Applications 75
Table 23 Global Market for THz Sensors, by End-user Segment, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 77
Table 24 Global Security/Public Safety Market for THz Chemical Warfare Agent and Toxic Chemical Detectors, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 79
Table 25 Global Market for THz Biochips used in Medical Diagnostics Applications, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 80
Table 26 Global Market for THz Biochips used in Industrial Process and Quality Control, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 80
Table 27 Global Market for THz Biochips used in Food Quality Testing, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 81
Table 28 Global Market for THz Biochips used Measurement of Package Moisture, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 81
Table 29 Global Market for THz Moisture Sensors used in Agriculture, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 82
Table 30 Global Military/Defense Market for THz Chemical Warfare Agent and Toxic Chemical Detectors, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 82
Table 31 Global Market for THz Communications Equipment, by End-user Segment, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 90
Table 32 Global Market for THz Devices used in Civilian Communications, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 93
Table 33 Global Market for THz Civilian Satellite-to-Satellite Communications, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 94
Table 34 Global Market for THz Indoor Communications Equipment, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 95
Table 35 Global Market for THz Communications Devices used in Military Applications, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 95
Table 36 Global Market for THz Tactical Communications Equipment, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 96
Table 37 Global Market for THz Military Satellite-to-Satellite Communications, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 97
Table 38 Global Market for THz High-performance Computing Interconnects, Through 2027 ($ Millions) 102
Table 39 Major THz IP Portfolios (Number of Patents/Applications) 131
List of Figures
Summary Figure: Global Market for Terahertz Radiation Devices and Systems, by Type, 2016-2027 ($ Millions) 8
Figure 1 Split Ring Resonator 28
Figure 2 Trends in Global Market for THz Systems, 2016-2027 ($ Millions) 35
Figure 3 Global Market Shares for THz by End-user Segment, 2016-2027 (%) 36
Figure 4 Trends in Global Market for THz Imaging, by Application, 2016-2027 ($ Millions) 54
Figure 5 Trends in THz Imaging System Market Shares, by Application, 2016-2027 (%) 55
Figure 6 Global Market Shares for Intraoperative Imaging Technologies, 2016 (%/$ Million) 58
Figure 7 Global Market for THz Spectroscopy Equipment for Scientific Research Applications, 2016-2027 ($ Millions) 72
Figure 8 Global Market for THz Sensors, by End-user Segment, 2016-2027 ($ Millions) 77
Figure 9 Global THz Sensor Market Shares, by End-user Segment, 2016-2027 (%) 78
Figure 10 Global Market for THz Communications Equipment, by End-user Segment, 2016-2027 ($ Millions) 91
Figure 11 Trends in THz Communications Market Shares, by End-user Segment, 2016-2027 (%) 92
Figure 12 Share of Terahertz Companies, by Nationality, 2016 (%) 107
Figure 13 Terahertz Companies Segmented, by Total Annual Revenues, 2016 (%) 108
Figure 14 Terahertz Companies Segmented, by Type of Ownership, 2016 (%) 109
Figure 15 Terahertz Companies Specializing in THz Technology vs. Companies with Other Product Lines, 2016 (%) 110
Figure 16 Terahertz Companies with Commercial Product, 2016 (%) 111
Figure 17 Summary of U.S. Terahertz Technology Patents and Patent Applications as of March 31, 2017 (%/Number) 125
Figure 18 U.S. Patents and Patent Applications for THz Components and Subsystems as of March 31, 2017 (%) 126
Figure 19 U.S. Patents and Patent Applications for Complete THz Systems as of March 31, 2017 (%) 128