ETNews.com reports that SK Hynix announced on Oct. 17 that it recently had succeeded in developing a 8MP BSI prototype. This allows the company to overcome FSI sensors limitations and close gaps with its competitors, according to the ETNews article.
A spokesperson for SK Hynix said it expects the new technology is expected to lead to huge improvements in its market share of the mobile CIS, which currently hovers around 8%, and its profitability. The company aims to apply the BSI technology to a majority of its CIS products by 2014.
Korea Times reports about a partnership between Samsung and Hynix where Hynix supplies sensors for Samsung smartphones and tablets. The newspaper's sources say that SK Hynix has been providing Samsung with 5MP sensors for its lower-end smartphone models. Samsung is said to buy about 45% of the image sensors manufactured by SK Hynix.
It seems that Samsung has already committed to buy BSI sensors from Hynix:
"As cameras in mobile devices have become essential features, we are buying more backside illuminated (BSI) sensors from SK Hynix because they provide good pricing and output commitment," said an unnamed Samsung official Friday, Oct 19. "The resolution in phone cameras has been improving, evidenced by lavish pixel counts. We need to hedge risks across suppliers and we are still buying billions of dollars worth of sensors from Sony. But it’s also true that we are increasing BSI sensor supplies from SK Hynix significantly."
An unnamed Hynix official said about his company's BSI plans: "We are heavily investing to boost our presence in the market for these sensors. From the first quarter of next year, we will be mass producing sensors for eight-mega pixel cameras and from late next year for 13-megapixel cameras."
Hynix' revenue from all its non-memory businesses, including image sensors, is reportedly below 5%.