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Short wave infrared imaging shows major promise for smartphone biometrics

Analyst forecasts $2.9B market by 2028
Short wave infrared imaging shows major promise for smartphone biometrics

Short wave infrared imaging may be the newest major growth area in sensors for biometrics, with the potential to replace near-infrared scanners for under the display of smartphones.

Yole Intelligence forecasts short wave infrared (SWIR) imaging will be a $2.9 billion market by 2028, up from $322 million last year, reports Imaging & Machine Vision Europe. The consumer segment making up the vast majority. The global market for SWIR systems for consumer electronics is set to grow at an 86 percent compound annual growth rate to $2.07 billion by 2028. The analyst firm sees SWIR systems being integrated with less-expensive smartphones, and in AR/VR headsets for higher-performance tracking cameras.

Little visible light passes through the silicon wafers that most semiconductors are made of, but short-wave infrared light is transmissible through them, according to another article in Imaging & Machine Vision Europe.

“In 2026, SWIR can start replacing NIR imagers in flagship smartphones for under-display integration of facial recognition modules. This will drive a $2,074 million market by 2028, considering the complete 3D-sensing modules,” says Dr. Axel Clouet, technology and market analyst for imaging at Yole Intelligence, as reported by IMVE.

The same properties also make SWIR imaging appropriate for inspecting semiconductors for defects. Other areas of anticipated application for SWIR technologies includes the industrial, defence and automotive segments.

Sony and STMicroelectronics are the only traditional CMOS sensor-makers that have also developed SWIR imaging technology, according to the report.

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