IC Insights: CMOS sensors are in the middle of an unprecedented string of record-high annual sales thanks to the rapid spread of embedded digital imaging technology into a wide range of end-use applications that go far beyond smartphones and stand-alone cameras. According to IC Insights’ 2016 O-S-D Report—A Market Analysis and Forecast for Optoelectronics, Sensors/Actuators, and Discretes, automotive systems are forecast to be the fastest growing application for CMOS image sensors with worldwide sales rising by a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 55% in the next five years to $2.2 billion in 2020, or about 14% of the market’s projected $15.2 billion total.
After the automotive segment, the highest growth rates for CMOS image sensor sales in the next five years are expected to be in security and surveillance (a CAGR of 36% to $912 million), medical/scientific applications (a CAGR of 34% to $867 million), toys/video games (a CAGR of 32% to $274 million), and industrial systems (a CAGR of 18% to $897 million). Automotive electronics is the next major market opportunity for CMOS sensors.
Camera phones image sensor segment is expected to grow by a CAGR of just 1% to $7.3 billion in 2020, or 48% of the market total versus 70% in 2015. Revenues for CMOS sensors in camera modules used in PCs and tablet computers are projected to rise by a CAGR of about 6% to $973 million in 2020, while sensor sales for stand-alone digital cameras are expected to shrink by a CAGR of -2% to 623 million in five years, according to IC Insights’ report.
Worldwide CMOS image sensor revenue grew 12% in 2015 to $9.9 billion, which was the fifth consecutive record-high annual sales volume achieved by this product category since 2011. CMOS image sensors continue to set record-high sales levels for at least another five years in a row, growing by a CAGR of 9.0% from 2015 to 2020. In the previous five-year period (2010-2015), CMOS sensor sales increased by a CAGR of 17.0% with much of that strong annual growth rate being driven by the market’s recovery from the severe economic recession in 2008-2009 and the emergence of new embedded camera applications and image-recognition system interfaces, which are now fueling the next wave of growth in imaging devices.