Printed electronics (sometimes referred to as PE) represent a growing technology for fabricating electronic devices on materials such as paper, plastic, and textiles using electrically functional inks in combination with standard printing processes such as screen printing, offset lithography, and ink-jet printing. Printed electronics are steadily proving that they have the potential to bring about a revolution in electronic applications.
Proponents of the technology initially emphasized printed electronics’ ability to make many electronic devices more inexpensively and more quickly than conventional silicon-based electronics technologies. Printed electronics’ simpler research and development (R&D) and manufacturing process can reduce the capital cost of a fabrication plant by several times and also decrease the time to market new products from several months to a couple of weeks.
Later, proponents emphasized the advantages of printed electronics in terms of light weight and portability. They talked of a hypothetical mobile phone the size and shape of a fountain pen, with both display and keyboard printed on a snap-back roller. The same snap-back roller would generate and store electricity from light and heat.
Today, the potentially revolutionary character of printed electronics lies not only in their low cost, ease of manufacturing, and small size and light weight. It also lies in the ability of printed electronics to facilitate applications that are not feasible and/or are uneconomical with conventional silicon-based electronics. Flexible displays, smart labels, and animated signage are examples of such applications. Therefore, printed electronics has not only enhanced existing markets, but is also creating new market opportunities.
Commercial production of printed electronics, which is currently valued at a few billion dollars, is projected by some analysts to increase to tens of billions of dollars in the next 10 years. This report will take a hard look at these projections in order to determine the realistic market outlook for printed electronics. In the process, it will offer insights as to where the most valuable opportunities exist in the printed electronics value chain, i.e., in applications, basic printed electronics devices, manufacturing, or materials.
GOALS AND OBJECTIVES
The goal of this report is to provide technology vendors, investors, and others with realistic information about the commercial potential of various printed electronics technologies and applications in order to assist them in making key business decisions. Specific objectives include identifying segments of the printed electronics market with the greatest commercial potential for the near-term to midterm (2012 to 2016); projecting future demand in these segments; and evaluating the challenges that must be overcome for each segment to realize its potential.
This report is intended especially for executives, entrepreneurs, investors, venture capitalists, and other readers who need to know where the market for printed electronics is headed in the next five years. The report is written primarily for lay readers rather than technologists, but it should also be useful to readers in the R&D community who seek to anticipate future flows in R&D funding.
SCOPE AND FORMAT
The scope of the report covers the global market (excluding military applications) for all types of printed electronics between 2010 and 2016, including:
- Organic light-emitting diode (OLED)
- Electroluminescent (EL)
- Electrophoretic (EP)
- Electrochromic (EC)
- Organic photovoltaic (OPV)
- Other types
Military markets for printed electronics are not covered in the report, because security constraints make it difficult to obtain reliable data.
The study format includes the following major elements:
- Executive summary
- Types of printed electronics and their respective properties, advantages, and disadvantages
- Printed electronics applications
- Size, segmentation, and projected growth trends of the printed electronics market
- Industry structure
- Appendices (vendor profiles, key patents)
METHODOLOGY AND INFORMATION SOURCES
The report’s findings and conclusions are based on information gathered from a wide range of sources, including materials and equipment vendors, users, and engineering and consulting firms. Interview data was combined with information gathered through an extensive review of secondary sources such as trade publications, trade association and company literature, and online databases to produce the projections contained in this report.
The base year for analysis and projection is 2010. With 2010 as a baseline, market projections were developed for 2011 to 2016. These projections are based on a combination of a consensus among the primary contacts combined with our understanding of the key market drivers and their impact from a historical and analytical perspective.
The author of this report, Marianne Stamegna, is the founder of and a strategic analyst for Information Resources, LLC (www.informres.com), a global market research and intelligence firm. Prior to starting Information Resources, the author worked at other research firms where she held the position of market research analyst and strategist. She was responsible for providing market data and competitive intelligence to Fortune 100 clients, producing proprietary market research studies, publishing white papers, and authoring numerous articles for technology journals. Previously, the author held the position of tactical product marketing manager in IBM’s microelectronics division. She graduated with an MBA from Babson College and a BS in engineering from Stony Brook University. She is also the author of numerous other BCC Research reports including Energy from Wind and Waves: the Global Market (EGY062A) and Global Market for Flame Retardant Chemicals (CHM014K).
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The information developed in this report is intended to be as reliable as possible at the time of publication and of a professional nature. This information does not constitute managerial, legal, or accounting advice; nor should it serve as a corporate policy guide, laboratory manual, or an endorsement of any product, as much of the information is speculative in nature. The author assumes no responsibility for any loss or damage that might result from reliance on the reported information or from its use.