Monday, October 21, 2013

Sony and Samsung System LSI Compete for 16MP Smartphone Slot

Korea IT News reports that Samsung LSI and Sony are competing for a primary sensor supplier status for a 16MP sensor in the oncoming Sansung Galaxy S5 phone. Sony used to have an absolute power on 13MP CIS for smartphones market. However, in the second half of this year, Samsung System LSI is said to be catching up with Sony at a high speed.

Samsung is said to keep its existing suppliers for Galaxy S5 camera module, lens and AF actuator, while its System LSI Division and Sony are fiercely competing over a spot as a CIS main supplier. It is reported that Sony is currently proposing an exclusive distributorship contract for 16MP CIS for a set period of time with Samsung Electronics’ Wireless Business Division. Sony is said to focus solely on Samsung Electronics’ smartphones for its CIS business. Meanwhile, Samsung System LSI has started mass production of 8MP sensor for smartphones and is sampling 13MP and 16MP sensors. System LSI Division plans to increase 300mm CIS wafer input from 4,000 wafers a month to 8,000 in its Giheung Plant. With the increased production, a greater cost reduction effect is also anticipated.

"We have no reason not to work with Sony or System LSI Division as long as they can prove their 16 million pixel CIS performance and mass-production capacities," explained an insider from Samsung Electronics’ Wireless Business Division. "Things will take shape around the year end because even a camera module sample test has not been completed yet."

Update: Samsung Q3 2013 earnings report forecasts "high-pixel image sensor demand to increase" in Q4 2013.

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