Image-sensor market defies tech-industry malaise

JULY 24--The market for image sensors is booming in terms of both units shipped and revenue, according to Cahners In-Stat Group (Scottsdale, AZ; www.instat.com).

Jul 24th, 2001

JULY 24--The market for image sensors is booming in terms of both units shipped and revenue, according to Cahners In-Stat Group (Scottsdale, AZ;www.instat.com). The high-tech market-research firm projects that in 2000, just less than 100 million image sensors shipped worldwide, for total revenue of nearly $1.2 billion. The largest applications for image sensors in that year included camcorders, digital still cameras, PC cameras, fax machines, and scanners.

In the next five years, cameras for cell phones, personal digital assistants, and automobiles are expected to be among the fastest-growing applications. "The image-sensor market has seen unprecedented change over the last five years, and that change will continue into the near future," said Brian O'Rourke, senior analyst with the In-Stat Multimedia Group. "One of the most visible changes will be in the types of image sensors that will dominate the market."

CMOS image sensors will continue to make great strides in the image-sensor market at the expense of CCDs. In 2000, CMOS sensors consisted of just less than 15% of image sensors shipped. Because CMOS image sensors cost less, consume less power, and can integrate many functions on chip, they will experience increasing popularity, particularly in applications where cost, power, or size is a primary concern, including PC cameras and mobile phones.

In-Stat also has found that despite increased popularity of CMOS sensors, CCDs will remain an important force on the image-sensor scene. They will continue to stand out in applications such as camcorders and digital still cameras and will also continue to dominate high-margin, low-volume applications such as medical, scientific, and industrial cameras.

More in Image sensors