Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Chartered Semi and Omnivision Cooperation

Digitimes: Chartered Semiconductor (Singapore) did not have image sensor process up to now. This situation is about to change. Omnivision's Raymond Wu say the companies are going to cooperate on image sensor design.

Now Omnivision is cooperating with 4 (!) foundries on image sensors: TSMC, PCS (both Taiwan), SMIC (China) and Chartered (Singapore). This is quite a broad foundry strategy. It might consume a lot of design resources, but the big reward is an enhanced production base and a strong hand in wafer price negotiations.

Wu also said that in 2005 Omnivision shipped a total of 130 million CMOS image sensors for camera phones, accounting for a 30% global market share. The company began volume production of its new OV7670 VGA and OV9655 1.3-megapixel image sensors early this year and is expected to capture a 75% share of Taiwan’s image sensor market in 2006. OmniVision will be able to begin volume production of its 3-megapixel CMOS image sensor with CDM omni-focus functionality by the end of this year.
Also, the company has moved the packaging of its CMOS image sensors from chip-scale packaging (CSP) to the more advanced CSP2, which is designed to handle packaging for image sensors of one-megapixels and greater.

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