GEORGE TOWN: Globetronics Technology Bhd plans to release three-dimensional (3D) sensors in mid-2015 to tap into the market that is projected to worth about US$3.4bil (RM11.4bil) in 2020.
Group chief executive officer Heng Huck Lee told StarBiz that the group was currently working on 3D sensor prototypes to be used for smart devices at its Bayan Lepas plant.
“We plan to start commercial production in mid-2015 for our customers in Europe and the United States.
“We are allocating RM50mil for capital expenditure in 2015, of which a large bulk will be spent on developing new sensor products,” he said.
Heng said the sensors were for 3D motion control in smart devices and electronic system.
“The third dimension in the sensors is to enable up, down, and rotational motion, and also enable users to control games, for example, remotely from a distance. At present, 2D sensors allow only left and down motion.
“The next technological drive will integrate 3D images with the 3D sensors to enable the production of holographic images.
“With the pace of technology, this will happen very soon,” he added.
Heng said the 3D sensor segment was growing rapidly due to its usage in smart, wearable, and medical devices, aerospace and robotic applications, and media and entertainment products.
“The Asia-Pacific region is the largest consumer of 3D sensors, as most of the multinational corporations involved in the electronics and semiconductor industries are based in China, Japan, (South) Korea and India,” he added.
According to a recent MarketsandMarkets report, the 3D sensor market by geographic region is expected to grow from US$789.25mil (RM2.6bil) 2013 to US$3.4bil in 2020, at an estimated compounded annual growth rate of 23.43% from 2014 to 2020.
Heng said the group now was also working with customers in the United States, Europe and Japan to develop bio-sensors for portable health devices.
“The target is to start commercial production of bio-sensors in the second half of 2015.
“We will also ramp up production of motion and optic sensors for wearable devices in the first quarter of 2015,” he added.
Moving ahead, Globetronics expects the first quarter of 2015, which is normally a slower period, to perform better than the corresponding quarter of 2014.
“This is due to orders we have received for new sensors and light-emitting diode (LED) chips for the street lighting sector,” he said.
On the performance of Globetronics for 2014, Heng said this would be another record year.
“For the nine months of 2014, we have already achieved 94% of the net profit for the whole of 2013, which was RM52mil,” he said.
To sustain margins, Globetronics will explore manufacturing higher-margin yielding products.
“We will also implement cost-control programmes to improve productivity and economy of scale production,” he said.
For the nine months ended Sept 30, 2014, the group posted RM49mil in net profit on the back of RM265mil in turnover, compared with RM39.5mil and RM242.9mil, respectively, a year earlier .