Wednesday, October 08, 2008

2 Year Balance: Some Gone, Some Came

To put Magnachip news into time perspective, below is the 2-year history of companies getting in and out of image sensor business (acquisitions not counted).

Out of business, together with my personal guess why:

Magnachip - failed to meet business objectives year after year
IBM - too expensive
CMOX - no sufficient differentiation
Biomorphic - key customer loss

Status not clear, may be defunct:

Newport Imaging
Peripheral Imaging (part of AMI, now ON Semi)
CI Sensor

Newcomers, in no particular order:

BYD (China)
Rosnes (Japan)
CMOSIS (Belgium) - custom design
Caeleste (Belgium) - custom design
ePhocus (San Diego and Hawaii)
HiMax Imaging (US and Taiwan)
Hynix (Korea)
Lumiense Photonics (Canada) - custom design
SETI (Korea)
Rui Xin (China)
Harvest Imaging (Belgium) - teaching and training

So, it looks to me that over the last two years more companies have come than gone.


  1. Is IBM really out of the image sensor foundry business?

  2. Yes, IBM is out of CIS foundry business. A bigger question is what happens with Altasens and DIS who used to use IBM for their production? - I have no answer so far.

  3. DIS is in bed with Kodak, fabbing at TSMC

  4. CI Sensor now is called as SETi

  5. Interesting. My TSMC sources did not tell me this.

  6. My previous comment meat to be reply on DIS question. As for SETI, I was told that CI Sensor has been shut down. Then Dongbu took the (best?) part of its team to create SETI. Is this the story?

  7. No. SET is a listed company in Korea. It bought the CI sensor and created a BU for the sensor business. Dongbu is its fab.

  8. By the way, the core team of Himax Imaging came from ESS

  9. Thank you for the info. One thing is still not clear to me. There are reports that Dongbu invested in SETI at the initial stage, then divested later on. Now Hynix is rumored to plan SETI investment. Are all these investments done into BU? Or SETI got JV status these days? Or independence of some sort?

  10. Core team of Himax imaging came from Biomorphic

  11. Sergi Lin, Himax Imaging CTO, started his image sensor carrier from Biomorphic and then continued in ESS. Before that he worked as a process engineer at TSMC, Himax' foundry.


All comments are moderated to avoid spam and personal attacks.