Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Palm Pre Possibly Uses Aptina Sensor

After the speculations that Omnivision might be the winner of Palm Pre 3MP sensor design slot, iSuppli says in Business Week article that the 3MP camera is possibly supplied by Aptina. It is expected to cost $12.39 or about 9% of the total Palm Pre built cost, according to iSuppli.


  1. so much for $1/Megapixel for a camera module!

  2. no doubt, that should be STM's module

  3. Amazing how much value is added from DxO EDoF while they still don't have any competition from CDM Omnivision or Tessera and only a little from Dblur. A $4 module selling for $12. WOW

  4. Its been years since I've been involved in the camera module business, but here goes. To those that think an Auto Focus Module is $1/MP, thank again!

    Typical BOM
    ~$2.5, MT9T011 Sensor Die
    ~$1.2, Rigid Flex Substrate
    ~$0.05, LCP Holder Frame
    ~$0.15, IR Cut Filter on sensor
    ~$2.0, DxO ISP Chip
    ~$0.2, Voice Coil Motor Driver
    ~$0.4, Multi Voltage drop LDO
    ~$0.05, Passive Components
    ~$1.4, 4P lens to suit 3.2MP
    ~$1.8, Voice Coil Motor for AF

    Labor Costs
    ~$0.3, Sensor COB Package Cost/Testing
    ~$0.1, Module SMT Costs/Testing
    ~$0.2, Module Level Testing

    Comes to a grand total of $10.35

    This doesn't include process Yield. The weakness in this whole chain is COB packaging and motor Mounting/lens tuning, and the typical yield for a 3MP sensor is something like 93% for COB and around 90% for the motor part

    So to make it easy, $10.35 / 0.93 = $11.13
    $11.13 / 0.9 = $12.37

    Pretty close to $12.39 No?

    Of course, Asian Manufacturers try to improve the yield and in doing so can make a little bit more, but its hard earned money and requires manufacturing discipline focused like a laser to achieve.

    Anyhow, the deal is that the sensor occupies very little in the parts cost of an Auto Focus Module, so we would need to use something like an 8MP sensor to get closer to the $1/MP level. Everything other than the sensor is pretty much fixed and very hard to reduce

  5. Thanks to clarify the economical difficulties of a camera module provider!
    In 2008 SMS and MMS have generated a total revenue of 55B$, for a total number of 2,300B SMS+MMS. Well it seems that providing competitive and cheap camera modules is very profitable...
    But for who???
    And 2010 market with 3G and future 4G will generate even more pictures exchange market. At 0.2$/MMS profits are huge for mobile service providers...

  6. If we are talking about fixed focus low end (VGA), high volume camera modules, then the cost and pricing certainly becomes interesting. It is however not very profitable.

    ~$0.70 OV7690 1/13"
    ~$0.25 2P Lens to suit
    ~$0.15 Flex PCB
    ~$0.05 Passives/Epoxy

    ~$0.10 SMT
    ~$0.20 Module Asembly/Testing

    Comes to $1.45

    We'll exclude yield this time because everyone can get > 98% yields.

    Lets make it easy and just say it costs $1.5 including the shipping package

    Now, The selling price for something like this is ~$1.6 - $1.7, including kickbacks

    Making $0.1 ~ $0.2 gross is certainly not a huge profit

    Even if there are 300 million units annually﹐and we could make $0.2 gross on each piece, thats only $60M gross to share among a lot of competitors. There is no profit in the low end market

  7. ST's new VD6853 and VD6803 are high-performance 3.15-megapixel CMOS image sensors with integrated EDoF capabilities
    The VD6803 and VD6853 are available in two package options, as a COB (Chip On Board) die or in the TSV (Through Silicon Via) wafer-level package. Unit pricing is below $5, depending on the package types and shipment dates.

    I get the feeling iSupply has the price wrong on that module.


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