The global image sensors market was valued at USD 19.04 billion in 2020 and is anticipated to reach USD 14.87 billion by 2026, registering a CAGR of 9.2% from 2021 - 2026. The image sensors are used primarily in a large number of imaging devices and digital cameras to enhance the quality of cauterization and storage of the image with its applications in industrial, media, medical, and consumer applications. â€‹The integration of video surveillance in the transportation industry is one of the significant trends observed in this region. For instance, to enhance security for the Canadian Public Transportation System, with the country having 1.7 million daily traffic, the government deployed a unified surveillance System with integrated cameras in it. This is further expected to surge the market across the region.
- Increasing demand in the automotive sectorâ€‹ drives the market. The image sensors are finding increased deployment in the automotive industry owing to the rise in safety-related mandates because of the rising accidents across the world. According to the Omnivision, by 2020, the number of image sensors sold annually for automotive applications will exceed 170 million, primarily attributed to the revolution in how consumers commute. Cars are no longer perceived as mechanical modes of transportation.â€‹
- Further, Sony introduced the concept of automotive image sensors with the name "safety cocoonâ€œ that monitors all directions with the camera, and the whole car is protected like a cocoon. Such a concept is expected to receive widespread acceptance with autonomous driving in the future. Such applications drive the need for the incorporation of image sensors in the automotive.â€‹
- Demand for gesture recognition/control in vertical applicationsâ€‹ drives the market. With digital content becoming more and more interconnected and complex, automatic recognition of human gestures delivers a promising solution for natural user interfaces, satisfying the consumer's expectations regarding natural and powerful user interfaces.â€‹
- For instance, in March 2019, LG has launched a G8 ThinQ smartphone with inbuilt touchless gesture features. Called by the name Hand ID and Air Motion, this feature enables the individual to unlock their phone, or control music, videos, phone calls, and alarms, all by waving the hand. Google as well, had worked on a radar module named Project Soli and deployed the same in their Pixel 4 smartphone.
- However, the COVID-19 is expected to have a significant impact on the market in the current year and is anticipated to continue to have an impact for the first two quarters of the year following it, as the supply chain has experienced a huge disruption owing to restrictions in movement of goods and personnel. â€‹Asian countries such as China, India, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan have a significant presence of manufacturers of the image sensors and have experienced lockdown and disrupted the production schedules.
- However, to fight with the COVID-19, companies are actively investing in product developments. For instance, in April 2020, in April 2020, the government of Israel has planned to deploy Vayyar Imagingâ€™s life-saving sensor technology that could provide touchless, remote and confidential monitoring to detect and monitor vital signs such as the pulse, heart rate variability and respiratory rates of the patient remotely, thereby indicating early-stage COVID-19 symptoms.â€‹
Key Market Trends
CMOS Image Sensor in Smartphone Witnesses a Significant Growth
- With the increasing demand for the high-definition image capturing devices in the industries, CMOS technology has been witnessing a high adoption rate as they provide faster shutter speed delivering high-quality images. With the integration of cameras into smartphones, the use of image capturing increased significantly.
- For VGA resolution, CMOS sensors can efficiently run at 30 fps or faster, and at 3 to 5-megapixel resolution, 5 to 15 fps is achievable while keeping power consumption down. This enables algorithms such as autofocus, autoexposure, and automatic white balance to achieve faster convergence, thereby providing a quicker, more responsive camera. Higher frame rates also mean reduced blur and, in some instances, enable designers to eliminate mechanical shutters. With the increased competition in the smartphone industry, manufacturers are viewing image quality as the way to achieve competitive advantage.
- For instance, Samsungâ€™s new 5G smartphone consists of five cameras, including a rear-facing, wide-angle camera, which is based on a 108-megapixel (MP) image sensor, which equates to over 100 million pixels on small die size. The front-facing camera for selfies incorporates a 48MP image sensor based on the worldâ€™s lowest pixel pitch 0.7Âµm. With the increasing number of sensors being deployed in smartphones, the market for CMOS image sensors is anticipated with significant growth.
- Further, China's e-commerce market is booming as well, as the maximum share of consumers who purchase online are shopping via their smartphones. The Alibaba Group Holding's shopping platform Taobao Marketplace and Tmall let their customers take pictures of an item in real-life and buy it online. This is also expected to drive the market for CMOS image sensors. â€‹
- Furthermore, although certain markets (China, for instance) have reached saturation for new smartphone demand due to lack of new buyers, smartphone manufacturers, like Huawei, are rolling out new models with dual-camera systems, thus, boosting CMOS manufacturing. â€‹
- Also, mobile applications such as TikTok and WeChat are also driving the market for cameras in the country; according to Tencent number of active WeChat users during Q2, 2019, stood at 1,132.7 million.â€‹ These factors significantly drive the CMOS image sensors in the smartphone market.
Asia-Pacific to Witness Significant Market Growth
- Among the Asia-Pacific countries, China is reflecting a significant growth rate, due to its growing economy and significant global electronics market share. China is one of the leading electronics producers and consumers. According to the National Bureau of Statistics China, the computer, communication equipment, and other electronic equipment manufacturing were increased by 13.1% during fiscal 2018, and the entire industrial sector was valued at CNY 30,516 billion.â€‹
- China implemented the Social Credit System that uses extensive facial recognition of its citizen. The facial recognition systems are being implemented across the country, and the requirement for cameras for the project is expected to drive the market. â€‹
- Further, India is one of the largest and fastest-growing economies in the world; the growing purchasing power and the rising influence of social media are expected to drive the market for electronic goods. According to IBEF, the country's import of electronic goods reached USD 53 billion in fiscal 2018. â€‹
- The country is also seeing growth in the number of smart cities due to government initiatives. The smart cities are anticipated to incorporate electronic solutions for various purposes, such as monitoring, surveillance, maintenance, etc. Further, according to smartcities.gov.in, the central government allotted USD 977 million into the development of 60 such smart cities. â€‹
- Further, South Korea has been made secure with a variety of surveillance systems installed. The government of the country has been installing CCTV cameras every year, in public places, for safety purposes. According to Ministry of the Interior and Safety (South Korea), in 2018, there were 78,618 new CCTVs installed in public places in the country. With the growing adoption of surveillance cameras systems, the demand for image sensors is expected to rise.â€‹
- Further, in the smartphone sector, in 2019, Samsung launched its first smartphone with Infinity-O Display, called as Samsung Galaxy A9 Pro. This device comprises a punch-hole display, triple rear camera, 6GB RAM, and 128GB onboard storage. Another company, LG Innotek, in 2019, started the production of camera modules for the iPhone. The company supplied triple-camera to Apple in 2019.â€‹
The Image Sensors Market is fragmented in nature due to intense competitive rivalry. Levels of market penetration are not massive for any of the prevailing players in the market. Due to the high growth rate of the market, it is being viewed as a major investment opportunity, and therefore, new entrants are entering the market.â€‹ Key players are Canon Inc.â€‹, AMS AGâ€‹, etc. Recent developments in the market are -
- April 2020 - Omnivision Technlogies Inc., launched the OV64B, the 64-megapixel (MP) image sensor with 0.7-micron pixel size, enabling 64MP resolution in a 1/2â€ optical format. This allows high end and high mainstream smartphone designers to create the thinnest possible phones with high-resolution 64MP cameras. â€‹
- January 2020 - AMS introduced the CMOS Global Shutter Sensor (CGSS) Near Infrared (NIR) image sensor CGSS130, complementing AMSâ€™ recently announced 3D system. AMS is the first high QE NIR sensor to be integrated into a 3D/ ASV reference design with the Seres4 solution to be demonstrated at CES.
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