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Image Sensors Market Overview
The global image sensors market is estimated to be valued at $15,934.8 million in 2017 and is forecasted to witness a CAGR of 6.2% during 2018–2023.Rising demand for improved medical imaging solutions and increasing penetration of image sensing devices in the automobile sector are the key factors driving the growth of the image sensors market.
Global Image Sensor Market, By technology, $M (2013-2023)
Based on technology, the image sensors market has been categorized into complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) and charge-coupled device (CCD). At present, CMOS-based image sensing devices are more preferred owing to their reduced system size and lower power consumption. Sony Corporation has announced its intention to discontinue the delivery/shipment of its CCD image sensors by March 2020. The move is expected to adversely affect the global sales of CCD-based image sensing devices and shift the focus of major market players toward the CMOS technology.
On the basis of processing type, the image sensors market has been categorized into two-dimensional (2D) and three-dimensional (3D) image sensors. The 2D image sensing devices are estimated to hold a larger revenue share, accounting for more than 70%, in the market in 2017. This is because of their greater availability in the market and compatibility with a larger number of devices.
The image sensors market has been categorized into visible spectrum and invisible spectrum on the basis of the operating system. During 2018–2023, the market for the image sensing devices that operate in the invisible spectrum is expected to witness higher growth because of their increasing adoption for various applications. Cameras capable of working in the invisible spectrum find application in areas such as surveillance and security, firefighting, medical imaging, and industrial diagnostics.
Also, the market for the devices that operate in the invisible spectrum is witnessing increasing investments by key industry players. For example, in 2017, Panasonic Corporation launched an electrically controllable near infrared (NIR) spectrum-based image sensor, as part of its business strategy to expand its product portfolio of invisible spectrum image sensors.
During the forecast period, the image sensors market will witness robust growth in Asia-Pacific (APAC). With increasing investments by key players, the market is expected to register the highest CAGR, of 8.3%, in APAC, during the forecast period. The growth of the industrial, medical, and defense sectors in the U.S. is driving the image sensors market in North America.
Image Sensors Market Dynamics
Continuous innovations and improvements in the CMOS imaging technology, design, and fabrication are one of the major trends observed in the image sensors market in recent years. Although a common process of optimizing trade-offs between limiters is the integration of the circuit design, CMOS imaging technology designers are delivering products with performance that is truly compelling for machine vision applications. Recent advancements in the CMOS technology have significantly improved signal-to-noise ratio (SNR) levels in high-speed machine vision applications, outmatching the CCD technology in terms of functionality, performance, and cost.
The growth of the image sensors market is strongly backed by the major players manufacturing low-power and compact image sensing devices. For instance, in July 2017, Sony Corporation, a global player in the image sensors market, launched the a9 digital camera with the world’s first 35 mm, full-frame stacked CMOS sensor and 24.2-megapixel (MP) resolution. The new launch, a9, offers capabilities such as blackout-free shooting at up to 20 frames per second, tracking 60 AF/AE calculations per second, and a shutter speed of up to 1/32,000 second. Similarly, Canon Inc., in June 2017, launched EOS 200D, an addition to the company’s EOS DSLR range. The new addition is equipped with a compact high-resolution 24.2-MP advanced photo system type-C (APS-C) size CMOS sensor.
The limitation of CCD-based image sensing devices is the integration of analog components that require more electronic circuitry outside the sensor and consume up to 100 times more power than their equivalent CMOS-based devices. The temperature inside the camera needs to be low, as high temperature increases interference inside the camera system. Increased power consumption leads to heating issues in cameras, which negatively impact the image quality besides increasing the cost of the product. This is one of the major roadblocks to the growth of the image sensors market.
Advancements in optical molecular imaging are leading to new capabilities in imaging such as increased sensitivity and accuracy. Technological advancements in optical molecular imaging have widened the scope of image sensing devices in clinical translation, cancer research, and medical practices. CMOS image sensing devices are now widely used in optical molecular imaging tools. Besides, researchers are continuously working toward the discovery and development of new disease models that can be studied using solutions based on the optical molecular imaging technology. In the next two-to-four years, optical molecular imaging is expected to gain momentum in preclinical and clinical trials on humans; which, in turn is expected to offer ample growth opportunities to the players in the image sensors market.
Image Sensors Market Competitive Landscape
Key players in the image sensor industry are launching new products to gain a larger market share. For instance, in January 2018, OmniVision Technologies Inc. unveiled an RGB-Ir image sensor, OV9738, to be used in IR and color imaging applications. The product provides several advantages over its predecessors, such as IR-based biometric capabilities (for gesture interface and facial recognition) and lower system cost.
Similarly, in December 2017, Sony Corporation launched a back-side-illuminated, 1/2-type VGA resolution, time-of-flight (ToF) image sensor. The sensor offers improved depth sensing performance and accurate detection of the reflected light, as compared to conventional ToF sensors. The depth map technology of the sensor reduces the distortion of moving subjects by capturing the image at a higher frame rate.
Some of the key players in the global image sensors industry are Sony Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., OmniVision Technologies Inc., Canon Inc., STMicroelectronics N.V., Toshiba Corporation, SK hynix Inc., ON Semiconductor Corporation, and Hamamatsu Photonics K.K.