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INSIGHTS

Sony consolidates its leading position in global CMOS image sensor market

Sony consolidates its leading position in global CMOS image sensor market
The CMOS image sensor market has grown exponentially over the past years, thanks to growing implementation of CMOS image sensors in the consumer electronics segment, investment by players to develop CMOS image sensors for automotive sector, and ultra-high resolution IP cameras for the security and surveillance industry.
The CMOS image sensor market has grown exponentially over the past years, thanks to growing implementation of CMOS sensors in the consumer electronics segment, investment by players to develop CMOS sensors for the automotive sector, and ultra-high resolution IP cameras for the security and surveillance industry.

The growth of CMOS image sensors plays a large part in the development of security products, especially in the surveillance sector. During the current CMOS sensor market boom, players are striving to launch new technologies to keep at the forefront of the industry, which will in turn speed up the advancement of newer innovations in the surveillance world.

According to Research and Markets, the image sensor market (including CMOS, CCD, and other) is expected to reach US$17.5 billion by 2020, at a CAGR of 10.3 percent between 2015 and 2020. Moreover, APAC is predicted to hold the largest market share by 2020, and is expected to grow at a high CAGR between 2015 and 2020, according to Markets and Markets. One of the key factors fueling APAC’s growth is the growing number of users for consumer electronics (i.e., mobile devices, webcams, and tablet PCs). Apart from this, some of the major companies such as Sony Electronics, Samsung Electronics, SK Hynix, and Sharp, are located in this region.

As the market continues to grow, more companies have taken interest in the sector.

Sony remains one of the strongest players in the CMOS sensor market, thanks to its leading technology innovations in high resolution imaging. According to Techno Systems Research, in the second half of 2014, Sony accounted for 23 percent of the market share; this grew to 28 percent in the first half of 2015 due to stable global market sales growth.

On December 4, 2015, Sony and Toshiba signed agreements for the transfer of Toshiba’s semiconductor fabrication facilities, equipment, and related assets of its 300-mm wafer production line, located in the Oita Operations facility, to Sony and Sony Semiconductor Corporation (SCK), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony. Worth $156.9 million, the acquisition is expected to be completed by the end of March 2016. The transferred facilities will be operated as facilities for SCK for CMOS manufacturing.

The acquisition of Toshiba’s semiconductor fabrication facilities will help further drive Sony’s growth as the company continues to innovate leading technologies for the market.

Soon after Sony’s announcement, Panasonic also announced that it will once again develop image sensors after halting such operations for the last few years, focusing on applications including 8K ultra-high definition technology, which the company plans to release in 2018. Reportedly, the company has already invested $80 million to push off its sensor research and development department. The company plans to implement their sensors for its own consumer and broadcasting cameras, and then expects broader applications, such as surveillance systems and self-driving cars in the future, according to Nikkei Asian Review. They may also sell the sensors to other companies for smartphone and other applications.

For security, Sony remains the market leader. OmniVision and Aptina will also continue to keep certain market shares in security and automobiles even though other players are joining this booming market.


Product Adopted:
Image Sensors
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