In a recently published report, Yole paints an optimistic picture for CIS.
They pointed out that on a global scale, the CMOS image sensor industry is booming. This performance is mainly attributable to the sustainability of the mobile camera market, but also to most of the premium segment. In this case, the sanctions on Huawei intensified the demand for CIS, while the company added additional inventory for 2 quarters, which exacerbated the tight supply of CIS.
According to the report, as of 2019, the industry’s revenue reached $19.3 billion, and according to Yole’s forecast, between 2019 and 2025, the CAGR of CMOS image sensors is forecast to be 8.1%, and the revenue should reach $27 billion in five years. Of course, mobile will be the largest market, data shows that mobile business occupies the most important position in CIS, accounting for 69% of market revenue, while security and automotive will become the second and third largest market segments of CIS in 2020, The compound annual growth rate is also as high as 20%.
In “all markets except mobile,” the report said, only two end-product categories showed a downward trend, namely consumer photography (DSC, DSLR, action cameras, drone cameras) and computers (PC, notebooks) PCs, Tablets), but they are supportive and there are signs of recovery in both markets.
Yole emphasized that over the next 5 years, all other segments such as automotive, medical, security, industrial, defense and aerospace will outperform the CIS average. The growth of CIS is still dominated by mobile devices for now, but this will shift to the high-end market by 2025.
At the top of the market, player performance is the result of competition in the smartphone market. According to the data, Sony and Samsung ranked first and second, respectively, with a market share of 42% and 21%, while Omnivision was third with a market share of 10%. STMicroelectronics, which captured 6% of the market, jumped to fourth, thanks to the comeback of its near-infrared (NIR) sensing imagers for iPhones and tablets, and their growing presence in the market. Sony and Samsung subsequently updated their product portfolios in line with 3D sensing trends. Indirect Time-of-Flight (iToF) and Direct Time-of-Flight (dToF) arrays were the answers they handed over. It can also be seen that excellent technological innovations have driven these top business development.
At the other end of the market, an emerging player to watch comes from China. Omnivision has been acquired by Shanghai-based company Will semiconductor, the report said. Two other Chinese companies, Galaxycore and Smartsens, are also booming, reportedly benefiting from the domestic market ecosystem for mobile and security cameras.
Right now, when more U.S. sanctions limit their access to technology, large capital injections have fueled their growth, Yole said. CIS may be one of the first semiconductor product categories that China can become technologically independent of because the required foundries are located in mainland China.
In Yole’s view, the technological race remains a key aspect of the CIS competition, which also drives the development of sub-3D pixels and semiconductor technologies and novel pixel designs. Over the years, the CIS manufacturing process has seen significant improvements, they said. The industry has also transitioned from FSI to BSI, and now to stacked BSI, using TSVs to connect to sensor arrays and logic chips. The standard technique has now moved to hybrid stacks using Cu-Cu connections. In their view, quantum and neuromorphic approaches should bring a new generation of applications to market, and the next technological challenge facing the industry is the integration of artificial intelligence (AI) into CIS sensors.
They say the next era will involve robotics, augmented reality (AR) and the intelligent Internet of Things (IoT). All of these are markets in which Chinese companies are well positioned. The ranking of CIS countries will eventually change with these new changes. “
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