onsemi Analyst Day 2023

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onsemi held its annual Analyst Day on May 16 2023. A video recording below.

PDF slides are also available here: https://www.onsemi.com/site/pdf/2023_Analyst_Day_Presentation.pdf

Image sensors-related slides start around #63.

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GPixel (Changguang Chenxin) files for an IPO

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Original article (in Chinese): https://finance.eastmoney.com/a/202307032768592891.html

English translation using Google Translate:

In this IPO, Changguang Chenxin intends to raise 1.557 billion yuan to invest in machine visionSerialized CMOS image sensor in the fieldR&D and industrialization projects for scientific instruments, R&D and industrialization projects for serialized CMOS image sensors in the field of scientific instruments, R&D and industrialization projects for serialized CMOS image sensors in the field of professional imaging , serialized CMOS image sensors for medical imaging Sensor research and development and industrialization projects, high-end CMOS image sensor research and development center construction projects and supplementary working capital.

According to the prospectus, Changguang Chenxin focuses on the research and development, design, testing and sales of high-performance CMOS image sensors, as well as related customized services.

The company includes customers D, Teledyne, Vieworks, Adimec and other overseas manufacturers, Hikvision Robotics, Huarui Technology, Xintu Optoelectronics, Eco OptoelectronicsAnd other domestic manufacturers, as well as scientific research institutes such as the Changchun Institute of Optics and Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Shanghai Institute of Technology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, the Xi’an Institute of Optics and Mechanics of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the National Astronomical Observatory of the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

In terms of performance , from 2020 to 2022, the company's operating income will be 198 million yuan, 411 million yuan, and 604 million yuan; the net profit attributable to the parent during the same period will be 59.3872 million yuan, -33.1685 million yuan, and -83.1481 million yuan.

It is worth noting that Changguang Chenxin has overseas business risks. In the context of global cooperation in the integrated circuit supply chain, overseas procurement and overseas sales are an important part of the company's business activities. During the reporting period, the company's overseas procurement accounted for more than 80%, and overseas sales accounted for more than 30%.

In addition, the company also has a high proportion of inventory and the risk of falling prices. At the end of each reporting period, the book values ​​of inventories were 80.1680 million yuan, 224 million yuan and 304 million yuan respectively, accounting for 23.59%, 40.94% and 29.05% of the total assets respectively, maintaining a relatively high level overall.

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Sony Business Segment meeting discusses ambitious expansion plan

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Sony held its 2023 Business Segment meeting on May 24, 2023.

Slides from its image sensors division below. Sony has quite ambitious plans to touch 85% of the automotive vision sensing market (slide 10).

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CIS market news 2022/2023

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Recent Will Semi report that includes some news about Omnivision (Howell): https://tech.ifeng.com/c/8MXij5vF1lP

It is worth noting that in December 2022, Howell Group, a subsidiary of Weir, issued an internal letter announcing cost control, with the goal of reducing costs by 20% by 2023.

In an internal letter, Howell Group said, "The current market situation is very serious. We are facing great market challenges, and prices, inventory and supply chains are under great pressure. Therefore, we must carry out cost control, with the goal of reducing costs by 20% by 2023.

In order to achieve this goal, Howell Group also announced: stop all recruitments and leave without substitutes; salary cuts for senior managers; stop work during the Spring Festival in all regions of the group; quarterly bonuses and any other form of bonuses will be discontinued; expenditure strictly controlled; and some R&D projects will also reduce NRE expenditure.

Howell Group said, "These measures are temporary, and we believe that business-level improvements will occur in the second half of next year, because we have a new product layout in the consumer market, while automobiles and emerging markets are rising steadily. We will reassess the situation at the end of the first quarter of next year (2023). 

More related news from Counterpoint Research: : https://www.counterpointresearch.com/global-smartphone-cis-market-revenues-shipments-dip-2022/

Global Smartphone CIS Market Revenues, Shipments Dip in 2022

  • In 2022, global smartphone image sensor shipments were estimated to drop by mid-teens YoY.
  • Global smartphone image sensor revenues were down around 6% YoY during the year.
  • Sony was the only major vendor to achieve a YoY revenue growth, thanks to Apple’s camera upgrades.
  • Both Sony and Samsung managed to improve their product mix.

Compare Omnivision sales with its peers in this graphic:

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Startup Funding News from Semiconductor Engineering

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Link: https://semiengineering.com/startup-funding-december-2022/#Sensors

Fortsense received hundreds of millions of yuan (CNY 100.0M is ~$14.3M) in Series C1 financing led by Chengdu Science and Technology Venture Capital, joined by BAIC Capital, Huiyou Investment, Shanghai International Group, Shengzhong Investment, and others. The company develops optical sensing chips, including 3D structured light chips for under-screen fingerprint sensors and time-of-flight (ToF) sensors for facial recognition in mobile devices. Funding will be used for development of single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) lidar chips for automotive applications. Founded in 2017, it is based in Shenzhen, China.

PolarisIC raised nearly CNY 100.0M (~$14.3M) in pre-Series A financing from Dami Ventures, Innomed Capital, Legend Capital, Nanshan SEI Investment, and Planck Venture Capital. PolarisIC makes single-photon avalanche diode (SPAD) direct time-of-flight (dToF) sensors and photon counting low-light imaging chips for mobile phones, robotic vacuums, drones, industrial sensors, and AGV. Funds will be used for mass production and development of 3D stacking technology and back-illuminated SPAD. Based in Shenzhen, China, it was founded in 2021.

VicoreTek received nearly CNY 100.0M (~$14.3M) in strategic financing led by ASR Microelectronics and joined by Bondshine Capital. The startup develops image processing and sensor fusion chips, AI algorithms, and modules for object avoidance in sweeping robots. It plans to expand to other types of service robots and AR/MR, followed by the automotive market. Funds will be used for R&D and mass production. Founded in 2019, it is based in Nanjing, China.

Greenteg drew CHF 10.0M (~$10.8M) in funding from existing and new investors. The company makes heat flux sensors for applications ranging from photonics, building insulation, and battery characterization to core body temperature measurement in the form factor of wearables. Funds will be used for R&D into medical applications in the wearable market and to scale production capacity. Founded in 2009 as a spin off from ETH Zurich, it is based in Rümlang, Switzerland.

Phlux Technology raised £4.0M (~$4.9M) in seed funding led by Octopus Ventures and joined by Northern Gritstone, Foresight Williams Technology Funds, and QUBIS Innovation Fund. Phlux develops antimony-based infrared sensors for lidar systems. The startup claims its architecture is 10x more sensitive and with 50% more range compared to equivalent sensors. It currently offers a single element sensor that is retrofittable into existing lidar systems and plans to build an integrated subsystem and array modules for a high-performance sensor toolkit. Other applications for the infrared sensors include satellite communications internet, fiber telecoms, autonomous vehicles, gas sensing, and quantum communications. Phlux was also recently awarded an Innovate UK project with QLM Technology to develop a lidar system for monitoring greenhouse gas emissions. A spin out of Sheffield University founded in 2020, it is based in Sheffield, UK.

Microparity raised tens of millions of yuan (CNY 10.0M is ~$1.4M) in pre-Series A+ funding from Summitview Capital. Microparity develops high-performance direct time-of-flight (dToF) single photon detection devices, including single-photon avalanche diodes (SPAD), silicon photomultipliers (SiPM), and SiPM readout ASICs for consumer electronics, lidar, medical imaging, industrial inspection, and other applications. Founded in 2017, it is based in Hangzhou, China.

Yegrand Smart Science & Technology raised pre-Series A financing from Zhejiang Venture Capital. Yegrand Smart develops photon pickup and Doppler lidar equipment for measuring vibration. Founded in 2021, it is based in Hangzhou, China.

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CIS market to exceed $30B by 2027

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Optics.org news: https://optics.org/news/13/9/18

13 Sep 2022

Yole Intelligence says that Sony is looking to consolidate its leading position as the market begins a new growth cycle.

Analysts at Yole Intelligence, the France-based research market company, are predicting that the market for CMOS image sensors is about to begin a new phase of growth - and will be worth more than $31 billion by 2027.

If correct, it would represent a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of nearly 7 per cent, with the sector recovering from a slump caused by US sanctions on Chinese vendors.

That rate of growth is expected to be propelled primarily by applications in smart phones - the largest single end market for the devices - as well as emerging use cases in the automotive sector and security imaging.

Solid growth

Yole says that the market for CMOS image sensors grew nearly 25 per cent in 2019 - with buyers partly responsible for creating a bubble as they stockpiled devices in advance of those sanctions taking effect.

In 2020 the rate of growth slowed to just over 7 per cent, before the combination of sanctions and supply-chain effects resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic saw growth drop to just 2.8 per cent in 2021.

However, a recovery appears to have begun in the closing quarter of 2021, which is said to have been the best ever in terms of CMOS image sensor production. The market ended up being worth $21.3 billion that year, thinks Yole.

“A new growth cycle is now expected, supported by opportunities in mobile and other markets such as automotive and security imaging,” stated the firm. “In the coming years the [CMOS image sensor] industry growth will at least match the general semiconductor [industry] growth rate, reaching $31.4 billion by 2027 with a 6.7 per cent CAGR.”

According to the analyst team’s figures, mobile phone applications accounted for $13.4 billion in sales in 2021, almost two-thirds of the total market for CMOS image sensors. That sub-sector is expected to grow at a CAGR of more than 6 per cent through 2027, reaching close to $20 billion.

Yole analyst Florian Domengie observed: “The [CMOS image sensor] ecosystem is still dominated by historical leaders. Sony, Samsung, OmniVision, and STMicroelectronics are all strong players in mobile and consumer markets.”

Market shares

The analyst firm’s figures indicate that Sony claimed the leading market share of 39 per cent in 2021, putting it ahead of Samsung (22 per cent), OmniVision (13 per cent), and STMicroelectronics (6 per cent).

However, that Sony figure is historically low, and the Japanese technology giant is now making efforts to increase it significantly.

“As a consequence of Covid-19 and the US Huawei ban, Sony’s market share faltered in 2021,” Yole explains. “That allowed its competitors to raise their game and play technology catch up.

“However, in June 2022, Sony confirmed its ambition to reclaim its market share, aiming at 60 per cent by 2025. This announcement should reinforce production capacity and research and development [spending] in the coming years.”

In its latest quarterly results announcement, Sony said that its sales of image sensors had been impacted by a slump in the Chinese smart phone sector, but added that it was expecting growing adoption of CMOS sensors with larger die sizes and higher resolution.

"In addition, due to an easing supply and demand equilibrium for logic semiconductors, it has become possible to gradually increase the production of high-value-added image sensors, the production of which was previously restricted due to supply constraints," Sony also pointed out.

The Yole report suggests that the leading Chinese manufacturers - OmniVision, GalaxyCore, and SmartSens - have responded well to the Huawei sanctions, and are now outperforming the competition.

Although its corporate headquarters is in Silicon Valley, and it used to be listed on the Nasdaq, OmniVision was acquired by a consortium of Chinese private equity investors in 2016 - and has since been sold to Shanghai-based Will Semiconductor.

Yole says that of the other Chinese players GalaxyCore is strengthening its position, approaching $1 billion in annual revenues and ranking fifth in the market, just ahead of US-based Onsemi.

Next comes Korea’s SK Hynix with a 3 per cent market share, and SmartSens with 2 per cent. Japan’s Canon and US defense group Teledyne round out the top ten suppliers, with Hamamatsu and Panasonic earning similar shares in 2021.

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Reports argue that mobile phone camera market is slowing

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According to a market report from China "global mobile phone image sensor market is declining, and it is recommended to deploy multi-level product lines, combined with production capacity advantages, to impact market share." [English translation]

In the first quarter of 2022, the global mobile phone image sensor shipments will be approximately 1.13 billion units, a year-on-year decrease of approximately 27.0%.
Market demand in Europe and mainland China has suffered multiple blows, and the Latin America market may be able to stand out
The upgrade of pixel specifications shows polarization, "main camera up, sub camera down"
Leading manufacturers will use production capacity advantages to control supply or change the adversity, and local manufacturers will seek opportunities through differentiation
Suggestion: Improve product functional value, upgrade product structure, and be cautious in large-scale expansion

A recent report by TrendForce forecasts that the relative share of quad-camera module market will not grow much between 2021 and 2022. One explanation might be that there is diminishing returns beyond a certain number of cameras and smartphone companies are focusing on algorithmic enhancements to image/video quality which may give similar results.

TrendForce indicates that mobile phone brands are currently curtailing competition in the hardware specifications of mobile phone camera modules but remain focused on photographic and video performance as promotional features of their mobile phones and will emphasize dynamic photography, night photography and other scenarios to highlight product advantages. This can be achieved not only by strengthening the optical performance of the camera module itself but also through algorithms and software, thereby increasing the enthusiasm of mobile phone brands to invest in self-developed chips.

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State of the Image Sensor Market

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Sigmaintell report on smartphone image sensors

According to Sigmaintell, the global mobile phone image sensor shipments in 2021 will be approximately 5.37B units, a YoY decrease of about 11.8%; among which, the global mobile phone image sensor shipments in 4Q21 will be about 1.37B units, a YoY decrease. About 25.3%. At the same time, it is estimated that the global mobile phone image sensor shipments will be about 5.50B in 2022, a year-on-year increase of about 2.5%. In 1H21, due to the long ramp-up cycle of ultra-high pixel production capacity and the squeeze of low-end pixel production capacity by other applications, there was a short-term structural imbalance and market price fluctuations rose. In 2H21, the production capacity of Samsung and Sony’s external foundries was released steadily and significantly, but the sales in the terminal market were lower than expected and the stocking plan was lowered again, resulting in an oversupply in the overall image sensor market.

Business Korea report about Samsung CIS foundry capacity expansion

Samsung Electronics will expand its foundry capacity in legacy nodes starting in 2022. The move is aimed at securing new customers and boosting profitability by increasing the production capacity of mature processes for such items as CMOS image sensors (CISs), which are in growing demand due to a prolonged shortage. At the same time, Samsung Electronics is planning to start volume production of advanced chips on its sub-3nm fabrication process in 1H22. Samsung Electronics plans to secure up to 300 foundry customers by 2026 and triple production from the 2017 level. (Laoyaoba, Business Korea)

Yole announces a new edition of its "Imaging for Security" Market report


Yole announces a new edition of its "Imaging for Automotive" market report

Flyer: https://s3.i-micronews.com/uploads/2022/03/YINTR22245-Imaging-for-Automotive-2022-Product-Brochure.pdf

Strategy Analytics estimates USD15.1B global smartphone image sensor market in 2021

According to Strategy Analytics, the global smartphone Image sensor market in 2021 secured a total revenue of USD15.1B. Strategy Analytics finds that the smartphone image sensor market witnessed a revenue growth of more than 3% YoY in 2021. Sony Semiconductor Solutions topped with 45% revenue share followed by Samsung System LSI and OmniVision in 2021. The top 3 vendors captured nearly 83% revenue share in the global smartphone image sensor market in 2021. In terms of smartphone multi-camera application, Image sensors for Depth and Macro application reached 30 percent share while those for Ultrawide application exceeded 15% share.

ijiwei Insights predicts drop in mobile phone camera prices

In 2022, some manufacturers will reportedly reduce the price of mobile phone camera CIS several times. Currently, the cost down of phone camera CIS has penetrated into the camera chip products of 2MP, 5MP and 8MP. Among them, the unit price of 2MP and 5MP mobile phone camera CIS fell by about 20% and more than 30% year-on-year, respectively. [source]

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