Shipments last year of CMOS sensors accounted for 92% of all area image sensors—an overwhelming share that translated into some 2.1 billion units, up 31% from 1.6 billion in 2010.
With the remaining 8 percent of the market, CCD sensor shipments in 2011 fell to 180.3 million units, down 2% from 184.5 million in 2010. In 2010, the CMOS share of the sensor market was 90% vs. 10% for CCD.
The pattern of CMOS dominance will continue through the years in the face of CCD’s irreversible decline. By 2015, CMOS shipments will amount to 3.6 billion units or 97% market share, compared to CCD shipments of just 95.2 million, or 3%, as shown in the figure below:
Mobile handsets remain the dominant application for CMOS sensors, representing 79% of total CMOS shipments in 2011. Videoconferencing is the second-biggest application market in terms of CMOS shipments, due to the inclusion of cameras in notebook computers. CMOS sensors also found increasing use in two growing markets—the security space through network video surveillance systems; and in automotive systems through the use of back-up cameras and in such applications as lane-departure warning, blind-spot detection and infrared night vision.
In comparison, CCDs are finding acceptance in the industrial markets and in digital still cameras. But even here, CCD use is declining. Among high-end DSLRs, for instance, CCD use will shrink from 12% in 2011 to just 1% by 2014. And because the camera space is weakening as a whole while consumers gravitate toward smartphones, overall CCD consumption will decline further, IHS believes.
Even though BSI cost approximately 20% more than FSI in 2011, the superior BSI sensor will continue to make inroads into phones. Projected to be in 56% of smartphones and higher-end feature handset camera phones during 2012, BSI sensors will be present in 92% of the same class of handsets by 2015 as prices come down.
Among companies competing in the space, Sony, was the top player for overall image sensors during the Q4