Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Mentor Graphics is Optimistic about Image Sensor Market

Mentor Graphics published its CEO Walden Rhines keynote at last year's Semicon West presenting the company view on image sensor market, among many other things. The keynote looks like an extended version of an EETimes article quoted here before. One must say that Mentor picture is quite optimistic:


  1. Very high level presentations !

    Thanks for posting this link !!!

  2. In my opinion, these charts illustrate the perils of assuming that correlation means causation.

  3. The first one appears to be REALLY optimistic...

  4. Geeez, what planet are these guys on? Penetration of DSCs into households in non-emerging markets couldn't get any higher with 2-3 cameras per household. That is more than the penetration rate of film based cameras at the peek, in the '70's. Price will help penetration into emerging markets, but there also has to be some infrastructure to support digital imaging such as broadband, home PCs etc. It may surprise many that Polaroid Instant cameras are still selling well in emerging markets, just because they need no infrastructure to support the images that are captured. Technology cost alone won't create adoption.

  5. I guess digital camera slide accounts for all sorts of cameras: DSCs, camera-phones, webcams, toys, etc. May be then these numbers make sense.

  6. I agree with previous post comment. From image sensor point of view, aptina/omni products have shown that one product fits all... when packaged differently. :)
    After all, all these market segments (DSC,cameraphones, camcorder,toys) are for human vision.

  7. The y-axis label on the first chart reads "cumulative shipments ('000)", so the data point for 2007 indicates cumulative DSC shipments of around 500 million.

    The y-axis label on the second chart is "units shipped", which for 2007 seems to be somewhat under 2.5 million, and for 2002 around 250,000.

    It's hard to see how one reaches 500 million cumulative sales when the peak annual unit shipment of image sensors is around 2.5 million for a couple of years. Even if this is an error in the labels, it's still confusing why the 2007 increment in the first chart isn't about 10 times the 2002 increment if unit shipments from the second chart in 2007 were 10 times unit shipments in 2002.

    So the charts are something to take with a grain of salt.

    Regarding camera habits..

    For my parents, who were kids in the Great Depression, buying a camera was an heirloom investment. I'm pretty sure the SLR my mom purchased in the 1980s is in a box at her house with a poignant note and bundles of old prints, all waiting to be passed along. I also remember as child receiving a 35 mm German camera from distant cousins who visited one summer from (not surprisingly) Germany, though film and developing were always scarce as funding them relied on seasonal opportunities shoveling snow and mowing grass out in the neighborhood.

    With young children of my own now, I count 9 family DSC acquisitions in the last decade: a nice-ish one coming out of grad school; a replacement later on after a small child force-inserted a memory card backwards; a low-quality kid camera someone gave as a birthday gift; a low-quality PC camera my brother gave as a Christmas gift; 4 in our family's mobile phones; and 1 adjunct in a video camera.

    It's worth observing that among four of us we've only ever used one DSC with any regularity. (Trust me, with pre-school and early-elementary kids you get hundreds of photographs of out-of-focus half faces, chair legs, doorjambs, ceilings, toy animal piles, and other fascinating stuff.) The remaining cameras were unsolicited gifts or unwanted parts of other products, but still help to pump up the industry statistics.

  8. Oops. I have trouble reading the charts too! The 2007 cumulative shipments from the first one is about 500,000. I'm still skeptical about data congruence between the first chart and the second chart, though.


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