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Status of the CMOS Image Sensor Industry 2018

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EUR 6 490
Automotive Consumer Industrial Medical
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Proliferation of cameras for imaging and sensing is driving CMOS image sensor (CIS) growth.


2017 saw aggregated CIS industry revenue of $13.9B. We now forecast a 9.4% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) for the next five years. Year-on-year (YoY) growth hit a peak at 20% due to the exceptional increase in image sensor value, across almost all markets, but primarily in the mobile sector.

The market has benefited from the operational recovery of leading CIS player Sony, which captured 42% market share. The CIS industry is able to grow at the speed of the global semiconductor industry, which also had a record year, mainly due to DRAM revenue growth. CIS have become a key segment of the broader semiconductor industry, featuring in the strategy of most key players, and particularly the newly-crowned industry leader Samsung. Mobile, security and automotive markets are all in the middle of booming expansion, mostly benefiting ON Semiconductor and Omnivision.

These markets are boosting most players that are able to keep up with technology and capacity development through capital expenditure. The opportunities are all across the board, with new players able to climb the rankings, such as STMicroelectronics and Smartsense. Technology advancement and the switch from imaging to sensing is fostering innovation at multiple levels: pixel, chip, wafer, all the way to the system.

CIS sensors are also at the forefront of 3D semiconductor approaches. They are a main driver in the development of artificial intelligence. We can foresee new techniques and new applications all ready to keep up the market growth momentum. This report is aimed at giving the best possible snapshot of the current status of the CIS industry in order to proactively benefit from the next wave of innovations.

YD18035-CIS market revebnue- forecast


The key takeaway from 2017 has been the rapid deployment of dual camera approaches in the mobile sector. The market has quickly adopted dual cameras on the rear of the phones, serving photography either to improve resolution and low light performance or to provide optical zoom capabilities. Dual camera approaches have also been deployed on the front side, mostly serving biometric face or iris recognition, but also 3D sensing in the Apple iPhone X. Competition and differentiation between mobile device manufacturers is deeply linked to CIS implementation. CIS has therefore benefited from ever-increasing dollar content per smartphone, compensating for the mobile market slowdown.

Security is now one of the most active markets, tightly connected to Chinese involvement in the industry. Hikvision and Dahua are the two new leading OEM manufacturers, having capitalized very quickly on internet protocol (IP) camera technology, cloud computing and artificial intelligence. The number of cameras per security system isn’t limited by human monitoring any more, which is a paradigm shift for surveillance. In automotive the same is occurring, as rear back-up cameras have become mandatory in the US.

Also, the move toward ever-increasing numbers of cameras per car, either to serve front Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) collision avoidance or 360° parking assist cameras, is worldwide. The number of cameras increases at the same time as quality increases, which has a multiplier effect on revenue generation. The CIS industry sector is clearly in the middle of a golden age.

YD18035-Top smartphone flagship camera configuration scenario


Sony is the unchallenged industry leader market and technology-wise. It benefited from the operational recovery of the Kuamoto foundry after the major earthquake of 2016. This helped Sony’s market share increase, on top of the CIS market’s rapid growth. Samsung is also maintaining its growth, and is now able to match most of Sony’s technology advancements in 3D stacking. This mostly serves Samsung’s handset division, but it’s increasingly supporting Chinese OEMs in a constrained environment for high-end Mobile CIS. Omnivision seems to have completed its transition toward continental China, with HLMC now producing one third of its products, and is capturing good revenue in automotive. The next logical step would be to expand its early successes in the near-infrared (NIR) Global Shutter device designed into the Intel Realsense products, which unfortunately suffered from shrinking computing business.

STMicroelectronics stole the show at the end of 2017 by capturing the slot in the newly released iPhone X with an innovative NIR Global shutter based on a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrate. ON Semiconductor has become the key player in automotive despite growing competition from Sony and Samsung. Growth in its Industrial division helped mitigate decreasing volumes of action and drone camera products. On the CIS foundry side, HLMC has benefited from the production transfer from Omnivision and TPSCo similarly from ON Semiconductor. Hynix is apparently locked in a conundrum prioritizing DRAM over CIS. SMIC similarly has to invest in the next generation technology and is in transition. Probably the last key aspect of this year’s status of CIS is China’s positive progress. Having built a consistent ecosystem incorporating CIS foundries, CIS vendors and high growth system manufacturers, China CIS ecosystem will become more important in the future.

YD18035-CIS revenue market share by player 2016-2017


  • 2017-2023 Forecast
  • 2017 M&A activity
  • Ecosystem update
  • Dual and 3D camera trends for mobile
  • Mobile applications and technology
  • Consumer applications
  • Technology update





SP19431-CIS Visible Cross-Section – Omnivision - Samsung – SonyMobile CMOS Image Sensor Comparison 2019 – by System Plus Consulting

Physical Analysis and Cost Comparison of 28 CMOS Image Sensors Found in Seven Leading Flagship Smartphone Cameras from Apple, Samsung, Huawei, Xiaomi, Oppo and Vivo.

Bundle offer possible for the Status of the CMOS Image Sensor Industry 2018 Report by Yole Développement, contact us for more information.


  • Detailed photos
  • Precise measurements
  • Die cross-sections
  • Sensor measurements
  • Material analysis
  • Manufacturing process flow
  • Supply chain evaluation
  • Manufacturing cost analysis
  • Physical comparisons
  • Cost comparisons

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Glossary 2

Table of content 3

Report objectives 6

Methodology 8

Companies cited 13

Executive Summary 14

Introduction 32

  • Market segmentation
  • Historical perspective
  • CMOS image sensor landscape, by player
  • CMOS image sensor landscape, by application
  • CMOS image sensor technology shift – CMOS vs. CCD
  • CMOS image sensor technology shift – BSI vs. FSI
  • CMOS image sensor technology shift – 300mm vs. 200mm

Market Forecast 46

  • 2017 CIS revenue breakdown, by market
  • CIS volume shipment forecast 2011 – 2023
  • CIS revenue forecast 2011 – 2023
  • CIS average selling price forecast 2011 – 2023
  • CIS wafer production forecast 2011 – 2023

Ecosystem 60

  • 2017 M&A activity in CIS
  • CMOS image sensor – M&A historical timeline
  • CMOS image sensor – competitive landscape
  • CMOS image sensor – ecosystem
  • CIS players – geographic mapping
  • CIS foundries – geographic mapping

Players and rankings 72

  • 2017 CIS revenue rankings, by player
  • 2017 CIS production rankings, by foundry
  • 2017 CIS player activity breakdown
  • 2017 CIS mobile market revenue breakdown, by player
  • 2017 CIS photography market revenue breakdown, by player
  • 2017 CIS tablet market revenue breakdown, by player
  • 2017 CIS laptop PC market revenue breakdown, by player
  • 2017 CIS medical X-ray market revenue breakdown, by player
  • 2017 CIS security and surveillance market revenue breakdown, by player
  • 2017 CIS machine vision market revenue breakdown, by player

Mobile market trends 90

  • Consumer electronics volume forecast
  • Consumer electronics revenue forecast
  • Who can afford a smartphone?
  • Revenue comparison
  • Mobile market volume forecast, by phone type
  • Mobile market volume forecast, by player
  • Market drivers
  • Mobile resolution mix – forecast
  • Dual camera rollout scenario
  • 3D camera applications
  • Mobile market trends

Other consumer market trends 117

  • Consumer photography volume forecast
  • Action camera and drone volume forecast
  • 360° camera trends
  • AR/VR headset volume forecast
  • AR/VR headset trends
  • Wearable volume forecast
  • Consumer drone volume forecast
  • Consumer robotics volume forecast
  • Computing volume forecast

Automotive market trends 132

  • Light-vehicle volume forecast
  • Automotive imaging trends
  • Automotive camera volume forecast
  • Robotic vehicle trends

High End market trends 153

  • Medical CIS volume forecast
  • Medical CIS trends
  • Security and surveillance volume forecast
  • Machine vision volume forecast

Technology trends 168

  • Pixel/Resolution/Optical Format
  • From FSI to BSI to stacked BSI
  • Hybrid stack/Multi-stack
  • 3D imaging and sensing
  • Technology by players

Conclusions 207

Company profile 211

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