As a semiconductor technology matures and reaches mass production, a dramatic reduction in price is usually observed. Laser diodes are very compact and energy efficient semiconductor devices, which are available in many wavelengths from ultraviolet to long-wave infrared (LWIR). The average price per watt of continuous wave (CW) devices designed for high-volume applications decreased exponentially during the past few decades to a value of $2/W.
In 2019, mass-produced laser diodes are available at prices below $0.10 per unit for bulk orders. Compared to light-emitting diodes (LEDs), laser diodes produce a coherent and collimated beam of monochromatic light, have a higher radiance (brightness), and are more energy efficient. Combined with attractive product pricing, the unique properties of laser diodes enable next-generation technologies in optical sensing markets and provide fantastic business growth opportunities. IDTechEx forecast the global market for laser diodes to reach a size of $12 billion by 2029, where the optical sensing segment grows by an order of magnitude during this period.