Mobile Phone and consumer cameras are no more that bigger market for image sensors, there is a wider market opportunity coming up for image sensors. Body worn cameras is one such opportunity fast emerging for image sensor market. Gesture control through image sensing is also another opportunity, but it is still in research. Machine vision,ADAS systems in automotive also depends on image sensors. Wearables such as e- eyewear, smart watches are embedded with camera similar to the one in smart phone.
Due to the selfile trend the smart phone started packing two cameras resulting in near doubling of shipment volumes. And the front camera is going for high resolution.
The car will have lot of image sensors both outside as well as inside. It's going to be easily for 4/5 cameras such as rear camera, front camera interior camera, side camera in each high-end cars.
The technology trend driving image sensor market is the CCD-based image sensor are replaced by CMOS image sensors creating a market for slightly cheaper image sensors. The reason for CMOS image sensor to do well in the market is not only the cost but also performance matching best of the CCD sensors available in the market. In the camera's market the share of CCD sensors is reduced to 30% in 2015 from around 80% in 2010.
Sony is leading in smart phone market, whose manufacturing facilities are running full capacity. Sony is not only the supplier to leading brands such as Apple and some of the models made by Samsung but also to many Chinese vendors. As for most of the estimates, Sony has a market share of around 40% in the image sensor market. Sony expects to revenue from its image sensors to grow around 20% in its current fiscal year.
There is very close competition between Samsung and OmniVision for the second position. Most of the analysis points out Samsung is second.
The rest of the vendors in this market includes Sharp, Toshiba, SK Hynix, Dongbu HiTek, Canon, CMOSIS, e2v,Teledyne DALSA, ON Semiconductor Aptina, Galaxy Core, ST, Nikon, Pixelplus, and Pixart.
It can be estimated the total image sensor revenues in the year 2015 is around US$ 12 Billion and is estimated to grow by US dollars 16 billion by 2020, according to many market research forecasts.
Well this is about visible light, there is another interesting market in the non-visible image sensor such as infrared, which is also fast growing area.
The market for thermal imaging and in forage-based temperature measurement is estimated in the range of US dollar 4 billion in 2014. And is expected to be growing at a rate of more than 20% every year, provided the smart phones and tablets start featuring thermal imaging in them. Irrespective of smart phones featuring thermal imaging, the market for infrared imaging in its present form is expected to grow 10%.
The top players in this market includes flir, DRS technology Raytheon L3, Bae, UTC aerospace and also many other players.