New Applications Flourish Global Sales of CMOS Image Sensors Record High Year after Year

- May 11, 2018-

Due to the rapid development of in-vehicle applications, machine vision, face recognition and security monitoring, and increasingly powerful mobile phone camera functions, the global sales of CMOS image sensors have reached new heights. According to IC Insights, a research organization, sales in 2017 were US$ 12.5 billion, which was a year-on-year increase of 19%. It is expected that sales of CMOS image sensors will reach US$ 13.7 billion in 2018, a year-on-year increase of 10%, setting a record for eight consecutive years. Looking further back, the agency believes that until 2022, CMOS image sensors will maintain a record high in both shipment volume and sales year after year.


IC Insights pointed out in its latest report that the application of CMOS image sensors has been continuously expanding, emerging applications have continued to emerge, and they have been encroaching on the market share of CCDs (charge-coupled devices). As the smart phone market matures, only 6% of CMOS image sensors grew in 2016. However, the market for non-mobile phone applications soared. As a result, the CMOS sensor market increased by 19% year-on-year in 2017. By comparison, CCD is extremely bleak and 2016 is still growing. 5%, but in 2017 it fell by 2%, with sales of US$1.6 billion.


Extending the time, we can see that the CMOS sensor gradually overcame the trajectory of the CCD sensor. In 2007, sales of CMOS sensors accounted for 54% of the total image sensor sales, rising to 74% in 2012 and 89% in 2017. In terms of shipments, shipments of CMOS sensors accounted for 63% of total image sensor shipments in 2007, 64% in 2012, and the proportion rose to 81% in 2017. New CMOS image sensors continue to improve performance and increase functionality. CMOS sensors are continuously improving in terms of photometric level, camera speed and resolution, and are aimed at security monitoring, machine vision, face recognition, gesture interaction, virtual and augmented reality, and Applications such as medical systems integrate more specialized functions.


In the smart phone industry, dual-camera (using two sensors) solutions has become increasingly popular due to better camera effects, which has also driven the market demand for CMOS image sensors. In 2017, image sensors for camera phones accounted for 62% of CMOS sensor sales. It is estimated that by 2022, this proportion will drop to 45%. In the next five years, automotive applications will be the fastest growing direction among the major application markets for CMOS image sensors. IC Insights expects sales of automotive CMOS image sensors to reach US$2.8 billion by 2022, with a compound annual growth rate of 38.4%. The mobile phone camera growth momentum is generally on the rise. It is estimated that sales in 2022 will be US$8.6 billion, a compound annual growth rate of only 2.2%.