Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Aptina Ships One Billionth Image Sensor

Yahoo: Aptina announced that it shipped one billion image sensors since it began manufacturing image sensors in 2002. Of the one billion sensors shipped, approximately 55 percent were megapixel or greater. Aptina maintains a product portfolio of over 70 CMOS image sensors.


  1. Good job, Aptina. But, we are very worried about your survival! Will you last the year 2009? If yes, HOW????? Just say how you plan to survive 2009... you are losing everywhere. Moto is down the sewer pipe. You are losing money at Apple. Cellphone market is shrinking. OVT is chomping you down for lunch at the low end. Toshiba, ST, Sony and Samsung are muching your dinner at the top end. You are getting nowhere now... tell me how will you survive?

  2. I can propose a scenario when Aptina outlives many in the industry. Here it is:

    Aptina is looking for an external foundry to complement Micron's Italian fab. Let's assume it finds a cheap second-tier Chinese fab and manages to transfer its CIS process there. From now on it turns to a huge success story. First, magnificent Chinese and China-focused VCs would fund this activity and solve Aptina's short-term cash problems. Then, Aptina's wafer price would undercut anybody else's. So, when the economy crisis ends, we meet with a dirt cheap and high quality sensor supplier.

    Can such a scenario work?

  3. Possible. But, why do you think Magnificent Chinese would help a Wild West American firm??? Don't you think it would be in the best interest of Chinese govt to let Aptina die and get someone from China fill the shoes? Or, second best condition, fund OVT to step into the vacuum created by Aptina?

    But, I commend your imagination. Your scenario is a possibility. Nothing can be ruled out... can it be?

  4. So far China-based foundries do not have that high level of expertize to manufacture high-quality image sensors. Even SMIC is not at the level of Aptina or TSMC, not to say about 3-4 second tier Chinese foundries dealing with image sensors.
    So getting Aptina's know-how and adopt its process would be very tempting. It could easily win support of local government, for example. And local and international VCs would give it a chance.
    Now, why not Omnivision? Because it does not have the process to transfer. It has fine process engineers and pixel designers, but the process is not theirs and they can not port it to anybody.


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