Study says image-sensor market to see rapid growth

JULY 16, 2008--New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (Palo Alto, CA, USA) finds that image-sensor technologies will contribute to imaging requirements in applications such as digital cameras, mobile phones, medical-imaging equipment, automotive navigation, and driver assist.

JULY 16, 2008--The market for image sensors demonstrates explosive growth both technologically and economically. Image sensors are an emergent solution for practically every automation-focused machine-vision application. While manufacturers capitalize on increasing sales volumes, they also face the possibility of market saturation and manufacturing technology limitations. New electronic fabrication processes, software implementations, and new application fields will dictate the growth of image-sensor technology in the future.

New analysis from Frost & Sullivan (Palo Alto, CA, USA;www.technicalinsights.frost.com), Advances in Image Sensors, finds that image-sensor technologies will contribute to imaging requirements in applications such as digital cameras, mobile phones, medical-imaging equipment, automotive navigation, and driver assist, as well as industrial machine-vision applications. Developments in manufacturing, hardware, and software will drive the improvements in image sensor-performance, which will lead to new application opportunities.

"The growing popularity and demand for electronic devices incorporating digital camera technology is driving innovations in image-sensor technology," notes a Frost & Sullivan analyst. "The application scope of image sensors is expanding beyond conventional uses as improved flexibility and performance has resulted in digital imaging technology replacing older film-based technology in the majority of applications."

Innovations in image sensors currently focus on improving the sensitivity, while decreasing the exposure times, using pixels that seem to be growing smaller and smaller. The end result will be image sensors that produce images using a very small amount of light. On the other end of the spectrum, manufacturers are developing larger sensors for applications that require coverage of a greater optical range.

However, to ensure the dominance of image sensors, issues regarding manufacturing limitations must be addressed. Image sensor manufacturers will need to find new ways to differentiate themselves from competitors, through hardware and software improvements.

"Aside from the consumer market, image-sensor technology will need to address future high-performance imaging requirements in applications such as medical, industrial, and aerospace," states a Frost & Sullivan analyst. "Overall, the incorporation of image sensors is, and will continue to be, based purely on performance and cost improvements over conventional technologies."

Manufacturers will need to continuously improve performance, flexibility, and system integration capabilities while also bringing down costs. An increase in the application scope of image sensors will encourage the development of new technologies to improve their performance characteristics and give manufacturers more opportunities to differentiate themselves from competitors.



More in Image sensors