Driven by a new wave of traction of embedded digital imaging applications in camera-equipped mobile devices such as touch-screen smartphone, Tablet PC as well as automotive, medical device and security network devices, it is expected by 2016 CMOS image sensor market will grow year after year by 2016, reaching up to $10.88 billion; the annual growth rate of the five years from 2011 to 2016 will have a whopping 13.4% growth rate, largely outperforming the 5% in 2006 to 2011.
Ten years ago, the prevalence of camera phone, plus that portable notebook and PC monitor equip embedded digital camera promotes the tremendous growth in CMOS image sensor sales with 2006 seeing climbing to the top, reaching $4.5 billion. But as product market moves to maturity, manufacturers surge, image sensor, especially the camera phone products fall on dilemma with unstable and rolling growth rate, due to oversupply; until 2011, it comes back to the growth road with a large increase of 29% against 2010 (with $4.5 billion), arriving at $5.8 billion.
Before 2016, despite the slowdown of growth rate, camera phone is still the largest application of image sensor, which will account for 50% of the market as a whole. The fastest growing is the automotive image sensor with the sales of 2016 amounting $1.8 billion, representing 17% of the total market. The CMOS image sensor used in independent digital cameras and camcorders especially shows growth potential due to continuously replacing coupled device image sensor; contrarily, the improved camera phone will have a corresponding reduction of market scale.
When the sensor market stagnate growth 5 years ago, a number of manufacturers had decided to close or sell their business, but after new applications drive new growth, the competition intensifies, suppliers increase again. The largest manufacturer in the world is Omnivision, followed by Samsung, Sony, ST, Toshiba, Aptina and so on; most of them all have used 300mm chip whether they manufactures by themselves or ask foundry.
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