The global flexible electronics market size was valued at USD 24,789 million in 2021, envisioned to reach USD 44,873 million, expanding at a CAGR of 7.7% during the forecast period. Flexible electronics comprise a bilayer of a thin passive substrate on top of the second layer of active electronic components, allowing for bending, rolling, folding, and stretching without performance degradation. Flexible electronics enable electrical designs that defy assumptions; they are a collection of technologies comprising flexible and curved or contoured stiff circuits, interconnects, and components. Flexible electronics is a technology that permits the construction of electronic circuits on flexible substrates, rendering them bendable and extensible. Creating new product paradigms with conventional semiconductors and glass substrates is impossible. Flexible electronic components generally consist of a substrate, a backplane, a front plane, and an encapsulant. Flexible electronic capacity is applied to various consumer and industrial items utilizing the components' ability to be molded into various forms. In addition, integrating data analytics and artificial intelligence with flexible electronics accelerates the development of digital intelligence.
The market for flexible electronics is anticipated to expand throughout the forecast due to increased Internet of Things (IoT) device sales and government interest in flexible electronics. In addition, an increase in demand for portable and smart electronic goods is anticipated to fuel market expansion. Also, the development of printed electronics accelerates the market's growth and creates a profitable potential for numerous applications. For these reasons, the market for flexible electronics will enjoy rapid expansion shortly. The market for flexible electronics is anticipated to transform the display industry, lighting technology, grid connection, power integration, and health monitoring systems, among others. In addition, it is essential to the development of smart cities and connected infrastructure.
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The Rising Deployment of IoT and Demand for Portable and Smart Electronics
The rise in the use of the Internet of Things has had a significant influence not only on the current technological, social, and economic condition of everything but also on the application dynamics of the present moment. The utilization of sensors, the installation of technologies, and the availability of a compatible power supply for new applications are all elements that make up the Internet of Things (IoT). The meteoric demand for sensors to control Internet of Things-connected objects and their power supply makes it possible to manufacture flexible electronics. The rise of the flexible electronics market is driven partly by the growing demand for sensor-operated power devices.
The adoption of intelligent electronic devices, such as smart watches, flexible phones, and thinner, foldable computers, has boosted the market for flexible electronics. The application of MEMS and the advent of NEMS in sensor technology have created a need for intelligent power sources suitable for miniature devices. For this purpose, batteries with qualities such as shape-moldability, the capacity to function as both a high-energy battery and a supercapacitor, and others, are necessary. Because flexible batteries are the only power source that can be incorporated appropriately, they represent the best alternative currently available. In addition, loose screens and sensors give device designers the option to build desired designs, driving market growth. Consequently, the flexible electronics market expansion is driven by the demand for intelligent electronic goods that employ new sensor technology.
A gadget using flexible electronics is significantly more expensive than one with standard electronic components. Active RFID tags that need internal powering are more pricey than passive RFID tags that do not require electricity. As a result, gadgets that incorporate flexible batteries become more expensive, impacting the adoption rate of flexible batteries across various applications. In addition, there is a high demand for conventional electronic components, and their mass manufacture on a global scale makes them inexpensive. Still, flexible electronic components are relatively expensive due to the limited facilities available for mass production. Consequently, cost restraint is a primary factor impeding the flexible electronics market expansion throughout the projection period.
The Increased Printed Electronics
The printing method can be used on its own to produce printed electronic components; however, the full potential of printed electronic components can only be achieved by integrating them with other printed devices. The increasing use of printed flexible batteries in various applications, such as RFID, demonstrates this trend. In addition, the applications associated with flexible electronics are already increasing rapidly, and this expansion is anticipated to quicken in the not-too-distant future.
The global flexible electronics market is classified based on components, application, and region.
Based on components, the fragments include a flexible display, flexible battery, flexible sensor, and flexible memory.
The flexible display section is projected to advance at a CAGR of 9.4% and hold the largest market share. A flexible display is an output surface engineered to withstand bending, folding, and twisting. Flexible displays often consist of OLEDs, e-paper, or LCD. Flexible displays are more widespread in foldable technology; hence, it is projected that this technology will grow in prominence shortly. Flexible displays allow for the creation of compact, lightweight gadgets, making them highly portable. Additionally, the durability of flexible displays contributes significantly to the design of the devices, as they can sustain more impact than solid glass structures. However, producers are now struggling to keep the durability of flexible screens high.
The flexible memory section will hold the second-largest share. Flexible memory includes volatile and non-volatile memory. Resistive RAM (ReRAM), flash memory, phase change RAM (PCRAM), and ferroelectric RAM are typical flexible memories (FeRAM). The primary benefits of flexible memory include low-voltage operation, rapid switching, and ultra-large-scale integration (ULSI) density. Moreover, these memories can store data for a longer duration. Additionally, it preserves data even when no power is present. In light of these circumstances, it is anticipated that demand for flexible memory will increase in the future years.
Based on application, the segments are consumer electronics, automotive, medical & healthcare, energy & power, aerospace & defense, and others.
The consumer electronics section is projected to advance at a CAGR of 9.4% and hold the largest market share. Flexible electronics are widely used in consumer electronics, such as wearable gadgets, cellphones, tablets & e-readers, televisions, and others. Due to the increased acceptance of wearable gadgets and smart electronics, the consumer electronics market is anticipated to expand rapidly. In addition, market leaders are heavily investing in developing flexible screens for televisions, cell phones, and other applications. iBeam Materials Inc, a leader in technology for large-area monolithic microLED displays, successfully showed the ability to fabricate high-performance GaN Field-Effect Transistors (FETs) on thin, flexible, and rollable metal foil substrates in January 2020. As a result, the market for flexible electronics is anticipated to expand rapidly over the forecast period.
The medical & healthcare section will hold the second-largest market share. Flexible electronics are primarily utilized in the medical and healthcare business for health monitoring and core medical devices. Globally, healthcare systems are being distributed remotely. Remote patient consultation, diagnosis, and treatment require dependable medical devices. Medical wearable technologies, such as patches, fitness bands, and others, are vital in the routine monitoring of a patient's health. Consequently, it is anticipated that rising demand from the medical and healthcare industries will drive market expansion throughout the projection period.
The region-wise segmentation of the global flexible electronics market includes North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and LAMEA.
The Asia Pacific and North America will Dominate the Regional Market
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The Asia Pacific will command the market with the largest share while growing at a CAGR of 9.5%. The Asia-Pacific region features one of the world's most dynamic economic frameworks. Regarding flexible electronics housing manufacturers, South Korea, Japan, and China are significant contributors. Many businesses and colleges in this region have invested in developing next-generation technologies like flexible electronics. A number of the world's largest and fastest-growing economies are in the Asia-Pacific region. Asia-Pacific has a strong position in this market as the home of some of the world's largest semiconductor and electronics businesses, like Samsung Electronics, LG Electronics, etc.
Consequently, it is anticipated that the potential for innovation and the application of associated technologies will be seized more quickly in the region. In addition, the growing economies of Asia-Pacific, particularly India and other South Asian nations, provide enormous market prospects for flexible electronics. India's flexible electronics market is explorable due to the country's vast customer base and a strong emphasis on manufacturing growth. This progress will promote the country and contribute to expanding the flexible electronics market in the Asia-Pacific region.
North America will proliferate at a CAGR of 9.1% and hold USD 17,101 million. North America leads the pack in terms of the number of companies operating in the flexible electronics market. North America is home to a considerable number of companies engaged in flexible electronics and so offers vast prospects for flexible electronic products such as flexible displays, thin film and printed batteries, and flexible memory. In North American nations such as the United States and Canada, the adoption rate of emerging technologies is higher due to technical progress. The North American enterprises engaged in flexible electronics continually develop innovative solutions to accommodate emerging applications. The North American flexible electronics market is gaining traction because of the potential rise of portable electronics and wearables. Leaders from other regions export to U.S. medical device industries.