Saturday, December 05, 2015

Panasonic Resumes Image Sensor R&D

Nikkei reports that Panasonic is resuming image sensor development after freezing it for the last few years, aiming for applications including 8K UHDTV applications. The company plans to spend about 10b yen ($80.8M) to develop next-generation 8K sensors, with plans to release them in fiscal 2018.

Initially, Panasonic will use the new image sensors in its own consumer and broadcasting cameras. Later on, it intends to target broader applications including self-driving cars and surveillance, and may sell the sensors to other companies for smartphone and other applications. Production will likely be outsourced.

Panasonic had frozen image sensor development since its disastrous fiscal 2011. As earnings sharply picked up, Panasonic apparently decided that developing its own key image-processing components is essential to gaining a competitive in edge in imaging products.

TSR estimates the global image sensor market coming to 1.2 trillion yen in 2015. Sensors that support UHD imaging are seen as a growth area.

8 comments:

  1. This is sort of obvious if you look at the ISSCC program!

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    1. The mythical "organic" sensor that Fujifilm camera owners have been waiting for. If what this article says is true, it looks like it won't arrive until 2018.

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    2. Organic was shared patent both Fujifilm and Panasonic.
      SmartFsi and Micro color splitter were patents of Panasonic.

      But panasonic intent develop 8k sensor i don't expect they fill organic,mcs or sFI.
      8k video no need new tech sensor but need powerful image processor and better codec.

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  2. Didn't know they stopped R&D! What were they thinking. And this explains why Panasonic is so slow in getting technologies such as SmartFSI into its system camera line, vs. Samsung that started isocell way after but already delivered in NX1 (its fate is a separate story). Seems it missed some great opportunities and yielded the field to Sony, judging from its sharp decline in market share for the mirrorless.

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    1. because they mistake on Plasma TV.
      And they sold out FAB to TowerJazz.

      if they resume develop and produce that dose mean they get money from imaging business.

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    2. Hope Leica is paying Panasonic handsome subcontractor fees and profit sharing, to get Leica Q, SL done.

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  3. Haven't we seen recent image sensor papers from Panasonic in conference roundups? Where did they come from if there was no "development"

    Or is there a real distinction here between R (new stuff) and D (stuff for production)?

    I presume the outsourcing would be to TowerJazz which has a majority in a ex-Panasonic (now 49% Panasonic fab).

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  4. Panasonic used to collaborate with IMEC Belgium for HD applications, probably using their fab. Whatever happened to that? http://www2.imec.be/be_en/press/imec-news/imecpanasonic4k2kimager.html

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