Traders Huddle: When reporting Q1 2011 results Himax CEO Jordan Wu said: "We are also excited about CMOS image sensors where we are seeing a surge in demand. Our customer base for CMOS image sensor is mostly leading brand names for both handsets and laptops. We continue to receive positive feedback regarding product performance and win new projects from these customers. On the wafer-level optics product line we just began our first mass production shipment and look for demand to pickup in the second quarter and onward."
Update: Himax earnings call transcript has more info on its image sensor business:
"Among our non-driver product lines, CMOS image sensors demonstrated the strongest growth in Q1, with revenues surging to a level which is multiples higher than the previous quarter. While foundry capacity remains a bottleneck, as we pointed out in the last earnings call, we believe the strong growth momentum of our CMOS image sensors will continue in the coming quarters.
The gross margin of this segment was below our overall level in both Q1 and Q2, but we have seen steady improvement by replacing older generation products with newer ones and by bringing up the production yields of those newer generation products. Our customer base is mostly leading brand names for both handsets and laptops. We continue to receive positive feedback regarding product performance and win new projects from these customers. We are excited about the prospects of this product line and we’re fully committed to its long term sales growth and margin improvement.
We mentioned in the previous calls regarding our wafer-level optics product line, where we are one of the pioneers in the world. We started our first mass production shipment to a leading handset brand earlier in the second quarter. We are going through the ramp up learning curve right now. Similar to the newer generation sensors mentioned earlier, the yield rates are being steadily improved. We are looking into expanding our in-house facilities for this product line because we do foresee a rapid demand pick-up in Q2 and onward. Further details will be provided in the next few quarters."