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Taiwan's optics industry looks set for further growth

13 Aug 2007

Applications in camera modules, digital still cameras and optical engines will boost Taiwan's share of the global optics market.

In 2006 the Taiwanese optics market accounted for 5.6% of the $13.3 billion global optics market, but an annual growth rate of 13-15% should see that share rise to 6.9% by 2009, according to a new market survey.

As a result the Taiwanese market will then be worth $1.2 billion, while the global demand for optics products will reach $17 billion over the same timeframe.

The major applications for Taiwan's optics products are compact camera modules (CCM), lenses for digital still cameras (DSC), and optical engine optics without lenses. The survey by Chien Feng Li of Taiwan's Photonics Industry and Technology Development Association showed that these applications contribute 70% of the total Taiwanese optics market revenues.

Taiwan will supply almost half of the world's 100 million DSC units in 2007 according to the study. However, growth of the global DSC and CCM market slowed in 2006, and cost pressures are forcing DSC brand companies to pursue OEM opportunities. In 2006 Hon Hai, the largest DSC OEM company in the world, merged with Premier Image Technology, the largest camera maker on the island, and now has an annual capacity of 20 million units.

Beyond camera lenses, emerging technologies being developed by the Taiwanese optics industry include glass modelling optics, diffractive optical elements, automobile lenses and biophotonics instruments.

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