Thursday, November 08, 2012

Aptina to Use Micron's 12-inch Fab

Up to now Aptina has used 8-inch Micron fabs. Generally, 8-inch wafer tools do not support processes beyond 90nm. According to Farshid Sabet, VP and GM of Mobile Division at Aptina, the company plans to produce its next-generation BSI sensors on Micron's 12-inch fab (Digitimes). Earlier, there were indirect indications that Aptina is going to use 12-inch TSMC process.

Other points from Farshid Sabet interview to Digitimes:

  • The mobile imaging market is trending toward emphasizing on image processing capability
  • This emerging trend will bring more opportunities for Aptina
  • The move by smartphone brands including Apple and HTC to reduce their reliance on component purchases from Samsung will also benefit Aptina
  • Aptina has been the only non-Japan-based CIS vendor that has managed to enter the supply chain of camera makers in Japan

12 comments:

  1. This seems like the most sensible option. Also the most obvious. I wonder why the change of heart at corporate Micron.

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  2. Wow I guess things did not work out well between Aptina/TSMC due to OV/TSMC relationship. Will be a critical step for Aptina if true.

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    1. It seems Aptina attempted to take advantage of TSMC experience in manufacturing BSI sensors with Omnivision.

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  3. It looks like their management team is getting something right. Heard they had a shake up at the top level. Sincerely hope they succeed. Its a good company let down by bad managers.

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  4. do you know the composite ISP for AR0130 to achieve 800TVL?

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  5. Durcan was a big opponent of sensors in his fabs. Something interesting going on.

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  6. Could someone put together the dots?
    The mobile imaging market is trending toward emphasizing on image processing capability
    -- how does this have anything to do with going to new 12" fab?
    -- what does the above statement even mean? the big 2 in smartphone have their own image processing anyway
    This emerging trend will bring more opportunities for Aptina
    -- how? do they really still believe ICP will bring big revenue?
    The move by smartphone brands including Apple and HTC to reduce their reliance on component purchases from Samsung will also benefit Aptina
    -- Apple never bought Samsung CMOS sensor and HTC is getting irrelevant and has already 2 other 12" suppliers (without Samsung)
    Aptina has been the only non-Japan-based CIS vendor that has managed to enter the supply chain of camera makers in Japan
    -- good achievement, what did the mobile GM have to do with it?

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    1. If you read the actual article it fits together a bit better. Not perfect as you point out, but better.

      I hope Aptina can find their niche among the major suppliers again. Maybe being tied to a wafer powerhouse again will help them, either the Micron mother ship or TSMC. Hard to imagine Aptina catching the two S's now, but the #3 slot is possible.

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  7. I think that Aptina is a company that has no future in CIS market because it has bad managers and engineers. They have very confused ideas about the development of new sensors and fabrication plant. Micron Technology in Italy Fab, TSMC Fab and now Micron Technology Fab in Boise!!!? which will be the next location? I think the Sahara desert! mmm ...... they are really confused!

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    1. There are many excellent engineers and some good managers at Aptina. Attacking them with an anonymous post like this serves no purpose and should just be removed along with the spam.

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    2. I don't think it's Aptina who's confused, friend.

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    3. You must be someone from OV who used to work for Aptina and who is bitter about them because you didn't get a chance to become one of those bad managers. Hmmmmm.

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