A semiconductor laser is a solid state laser, which is developed similar to a semiconductor diode, wherein electrons are connected to predesignated ‘electron holes’ near the junction of the anode and the cathode, and emit band gap radiation, as in the case of light-emitting diodes or LEDs. Semiconductor lasers are a dynamically evolving technology and the market for semiconductor lasers is predicted to expand at an expeditious rate. Semiconductor lasers are made by semiconductor compound. In these lasers, light amplification is done by using active semiconductor materials. Semiconductor lasers are rapidly becoming indispensible part of modern lasers based systems and replacing conventional lasers in range of applications. A semiconductor laser diode offers multiple advantages over conventional laser systems such as gas lasers or solid state lasers due to their small size, light weight, low current and power requirements, low voltage, low maintenance, wide-angle beam, and high electrical efficiency.
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The Global Semiconductor Lasers Market, which stood at US$4.8 bn in 2013, is anticipated to reach US$7.7 bn by the end of 2020. If the figures hold true, the market will exhibit a CAGR of 7.10% between 2014 and 2020.
the application of semiconductor lasers has expanded to consumer electronics, medical, and other growing sectors. While the low output of semiconductor lasers limits their adoption in high-power industrial applications and deep space communication, the development of novel designs and materials intended to improve the output power of semiconductor lasers will help manufacturers mitigate the challenge in the forthcoming years.
The various types of semiconductor lasers available in the market include compact disc lasers, fiber optic lasers, red lasers, vertical cavity surface emitting lasers, green lasers, violet lasers, and blue lasers. Among these, fiber optic lasers accounted for the largest share of the semiconductor lasers market owing to their use in communication applications. Fiber optic lasers will witness a steady rise in demand for marine and space communications and high broadband services. However, during the report’s forecast period, high-power diode lasers are expected to witness the fastest growth due to their increasing application in solid-state laser pumping, material processing, space communication, fiber laser pumping, optoelectronics manufacturing, and defense. In the meantime, red lasers will be rapidly replaced by blue, green, and violet lasers for application in defense, printing, and optical storage devices.
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Among the key application segments, semiconductor lasers are demanded the most for communication applications, which also held the largest share of the global semiconductor lasers market. However, in the near future printing application segment is likely to exhibit the fastest growth in demand. Furthermore, the market will also witness increasing demand from display manufacturing, sensors manufacturing, healthcare industry, and industrial machinery.
Regionally, Asia Pacific held a dominant 37.5% of the global semiconductor lasers market in 2013. The region is also likely to exhibit the fastest growth during the forecast period due to rapid industrialization witnessed by the region and increasing demand for computers.
Some of the companies profiled for the purpose of the study include Coherent Inc., Rofin-Sinar Technologies Inc, Trumpf GmbH + Co KG, ASML Holding NV, Newport Corp., Axcel Photonics Inc., and IPG Photonics Corp. Of these companies, Coherent Inc., has emerged as the leading supplier of semiconductor lasers worldwide.