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Electronics Production | November 22, 2010

Image sensors attractive for suppliers

Image sensors continue to be attractive opportunities for suppliers.
Electronics.ca Publications, an i market research and knowledge network, announces the availability of a new report entitled "Image Sensors Market Report."

As 2010 is expected to be a significant growth year, image sensors are being discussed more often as attractive opportunities for suppliers, and although many of the best current opportunities for image sensors can be found in developing CMOS products for the latest smartphones and portable consumer electronics, there are some interesting possibilities in the automotive, industrial, and medical markets as well, and there will likely be many more to come.

Image sensors are typically divided into one of two architectures, either a charge-coupled device (CCD) or a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor. Image sensor technology, specifically CMOS, is what made possible the highly successful and lucrative camera phone market. Today there are several applications which serve as major growth drivers for the image sensors market. These include consumer electronics, a category which could include smartphones, digital cameras and camcorders and video game consoles, PC applications like Webcams, industrial applications including manufacturing, inspection and security, and some applications in the medical market as well. Automotive is also an emerging market for image sensors, particularly in the areas of driver assistance and safety. There are many applications that are now dependent upon image sensors and there will likely be more in the future. This higher demand will encourage faster development of advanced technologies in this product area.

From a regional perspective, the Asia Pacific region is the largest single region by sales with $3.3 billion projected for 2010 and average growth of 10 percent annually through 2015. Korean and Taiwanese suppliers are especially gaining in market share, especially for camera phones.

Japan has traditionally dominated image sensor production, and still manufactures over 90 percent of the world's CCDs. As CCDs continue to be a significant presence in some applications, Japan will remain the second largest region for production with $2.2 billion in revenue expected for 2010.

The Americas' share of the image sensor market has jumped from 3 percent in 2007 to over 12 percent in 2010. This jump is likely the result of some large image sensors supplier recording revenue for sales to a different region in 2007, and now recording it in the Americas region, either due to a relocation of manufacturing, or a reclassification in the region originally credited for the sale to better reflect where the products were actually shipped.

Europe is currently the smallest region by sales with $416 million in revenue and 6 percent of the total market projected for this year.

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