FEBRUARY 13--In the next few years, CMOS image sensors will take market share away from CCD devices, according to market-research company iSuppli Corp. The El Segundo, CA, company is forecasting that CMOS image sensors will account for 47% of these types of devices shipped by 2005.
The company predicts unit volume for CMOS sensors will grow from 18 million devices, valued at $367 million, in 2001, to 72 million units worth more than $1 billion by 2005. CMOS image sensors will represent about 47% of these types of devices shipped by 2005, iSuppli said, compared with only 23% of image-sensor shipments in 2001.
"The low cost and power consumption of CMOS image sensors will be creating major growth opportunities in a range of new consumer applications from low-cost digital still cameras to cell phones," said principal analyst Jay Srivatsa, in a statement. "CCD sensors should continue to dominate the high-end digital still camera market and other imaging markets like medical instrumentation where precision is required."
Srivatsa forecasts CCD sensor shipments will expand from 60 million units in 2001 to more than 80 million units by 2005. While North American and European suppliers currently dominate the CMOS sensor market, several Japanese suppliers should enter the market over the next few years. "So while there appears to be an abundance of growth opportunity in the CMOS sensor arena, investors should be cautious, as a market shakeout caused by intense price competition is almost sure to develop," Srivatsa said. "In fact, to a certain extent, that shakeout has already begun, with Intel canceling its CMOS-sensor-development program in 2000 without ever bringing a product to market. With only a handful of CMOS-sensor vendors expected to survive,caveat emptor is surely the investment guideline to follow."