Description Reaching $10B for the first time, the CMOS Image Sensor Industry (CIS) is undergoing massive technology and market shifts, while growing at a 10% CAGR. With major investment needed in manufacturing and design in order to stay ahead, the industry landscape is about to change dramatically.The CMOS Image Sensor market will reach US$16B by 2020!
Driven by mobile and automotive applications, the CIS industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.6% from 2014 - 2020, reaching a market value of US$16.2B by 2020.
Even if smartphone applications still take the lion’s share of the market, many different applications are part of CIS’ growth story. Automotive, medical, and surveillance are areas where great opportunities have surfaced and are driving the market and technology efforts of existing and new players. Our 2015 report covers all of these opportunities.
On the other hand, some CIS segments have suffered sharp decline. With feature phone cameras and digital still-cameras being replaced by more widely-used smartphone cameras, players in these applications are suffering, which is leading to industry consolidation. We have seen a high level of M&A activity in 2014, which should continue in 2015.
Exciting new emerging market trends are relevant to the CIS industry. In mobile, the addition of the secondary front-facing camera is already old news, as all high-end handsets and smartphones now have two cameras. In fact, Chinese manufacturers are actually pushing for higher resolution secondary cameras. This significantly impacts the average selling price (ASP) of micro camera modules, and is causing low-end players to abandon their focus on submega pixel production and move toward 5Mp+ territories. Naturally, this has had a major impact on the capital expenditures and technology portfolio roadmaps of these CIS mobile players. This trend is even more crucial for main rear cameras, where compactness and performance are pushed to the extreme. Mobile has become a high-performance/high-volume domain in which one player has excelled so far: Sony Corp.
Automotive is the big story this year, as car manufacturers like Tesla, Nissan and Ford are showing off their first camera-enabled features. Market traction is particularly impressive, with most CIS players enjoying growth rates of 30% - 50%. But this is only the beginning, with most CIS players looking at this market, total revenue should reach US$800M in 2020 – for CIS sensors only. Automotive’s emerging importance promises profound implications for the CIS ecosystem. As CIS moves from a “for display” application towards a “for sensing” application, new players such as processor and software providers will become key partners for sensor design and marketing.
The industry is rapidly restructuring due to market and technology drivers
Strong moves in the CIS markets have greatly modified the competitive landscape. Sony is now a market, production and technology leader. Omnivision and Samsung have remained strong, and new players like Galaxycore, Pixelplus and Siliconfile are swiftly emerging as full-fl edged players. Meanwhile, the Integrated Device Manufacturer (IDM) model has been a great strength for Canon and Nikon, which have weathered the slow-down in digital still-cameras. As for Panasonic, it created a joint venture with Tower Jazz to aid its search for volume in the higher-end segments. Hynix gained IDM status by purchasing Siliconfi le’s remaining shares. These quick, up and down industry movements demonstrate that there is still some room for new entrants like Cmosis and PixelPlus.
Some players are currently pushed in the fablite/fabless model. On Semiconductor purchased Aptina, which sold its foundry to L-Foundry. STMicroelectronics is subcontracting part of its production to UMC. High-end players such as Dalsa, e2v, Cmosis and Forza are now subcontracting production to TowerJazz. For high-end producers, this situation is diffi cult since they have trouble driving innovation and differentiating from one another. They are confronted by one key aspect of the CIS business: One Pixel/One Process/One Market.
The fabless model is dominant in the industry’s lower end. Firms like Omnivision, Galaxycore and Pixelplus are the main players, and have key partnerships with dedicated foundries like Tsmc, Smic and Dongbu. The strain concerning capital expenditure relies on the foundry. As the technology rapidly evolves, it’s easy to see how much effort these foundries are willing to put in to develop image sensor technology. In fact, Smic is partnering with Toppan to improve its process capabilities, and Dongbu is currently for sale. This report provides an in-depth look at the CIS industry’s restructuring, with its technology and market drivers.
Technology: a key driver for CMOS Image Sensor industry
Since 2010, Yole Développement has well documented the rise of back side illumination (BSI), which has now become a mainstream technology that’s captured more than 50% of CIS production. BSI was the necessary technological step for reaching a pixel size of 1.4μm - 1.1μm. This converted 8Mp+ cameras into smartphones and 24Mp+ into DSLRs.
Size constraints in mobile have pushed 3D stacking BSI, which currently has 20% of the market. This approach is particularly interesting, as it separates the pixel array’s technology node from the digital part’s technology node at a time when sensors are integrating more and more features, for example Autofocus (AF) and Optical Image Stabilization (OIS).
BSI, 3D Stacked BSI and 3D Hybrid are all key technologies covered in our 2015 report.
The roadmap for future CIS technology adoption is fueled by three constraints/drivers:
- Size (X, Y and Z of the camera module)
- Image quality (resolution, low light performance, focus and stabilization)
- Functionality (slow-motion video, image analysis, motion control)
With green lights for all of these drivers, a gamechanging technology called dual cameras could grab signifi cant market share in a short time and drive CIS industry volume and revenue.
OBJECTIVES OF THE REPORT
To provide market data on key CIS metrics and dynamics:
- CIS revenue forecast, volume shipments and wafer production by application
- Market share with detailed breakdown by player
- Application focus on key CIS growth areas: mobile, DSLR, automotive, medical, security, machine vision, etc.
To provide key technical insight and analysis about future technology trends and challenges:
- Manufacturing technologies: design and front-end innovations
- Device technologies: CIS application across market
- Technology focus on game-changing areas such as BSI and 3D stacked BSI
- Updated 2014 - 2020 market forecast
- Segmentation modifications, plus stronger focus on security and tablet devices
- New in-depth market segment dynamics analysis
- Updated new technologies status: 3D stacked sensors and hybrid stacked sensors
- Company profiles for main players and foundries