CMOS image sensor market finds growth in new applications

CMOS image sensor market finds growth in new applications

Market news |
By Rich Pell

Yole now says that the CMOS image sensor market was worth about $10.4 billion in 2015 and will expand with a compound annual growth rate of 10.4 percent to reach a value of $18.8 billion in 2021.

If the CAGR was uniform that would put this year’s CIS market at $10.4 billion and the next three years at $11.5 billion, $12.7 billion and $14.0 billion respectively. This is up on numbers forecast by Yole in 2014 (see CMOS image sensor market on 10% CAGR).

The market is being driven by increasing camera content in smartphones that will more than offset slower smartphone volume growth with a trend towards dual and 3D cameras. Yole notes this strengthening CMOS image sensor market attracted more than $7 billion of mergers and acquisitions in 2015.

The applications for CMOS image sensors are changing rapidly. While the dedicated digital camera market has collapsed, new applications such as drones, robots, augmented and virtual reality are climbing fast, Yole said. There is also the somewhat slower and longer-term market for automotive image sensing in support of autonomous driving.

“We are therefore in the middle of an explosive growth pattern that will not slow down before 2021,” said Pierre Cambou from Yole, in a statement.. “An exceptionally high 23 percent CAGR is predicted in automotive for the 2015-2021 period.”

By spending $2 billion on capital in 2015 Sony has built up 50 percent of the world’s production capacity for CMOS image sensors but only has 35 percent of the market share. This has driven a loss of profitability at the market leader.

SK Hynix has propelled itself into the top 10 CMOS image sensor vendors by capturing business from Galaxycore and Omnivision, Yole said.

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