According to a report released by research and consultancy group IDTechEx, the market for printed electronics has the potential to reach around US$9.4 billion by the end of the year. This figure includes devices that are not currently printed but which are moving towards being printed, of which 30% of the devices under inclusion are made predominately by printing, and 6% are manufactured on a non-rigid substrate.

The four chief markets that make up this proposed figure of US9.4 billion are as follows:

  • OLED displays, thanks to ever-evolving smart phones. This segment will account for around US$4 billion of the projected 2012 figure.
  • CIGS-based PV will increase to US$2.6 billion, the vast majority of which will be non-printed and on glass.
  • Conductive inks used (mainly) in PV cell busbars will bring in US$2.3 billion in 2012. Almost all of this is flake-based ink.
  • Around US$290 million will be spent on e-paper material (excluding the value of the TFT backplane) for e-readers.

Furthermore, IDTechEx believes that the OLED display market could rise as high as US$30 billion by 2022, of which 20% will be printed and 17% on a non-rigid substrate. By 2022, the company expects the printed electronics market as a whole to reach US$63 billion, of which 45% will be printed and 33% on a non-rigid substrate.
Further information on the report and an in-depth 10-year forecast by sector is available here.