Friday, May 28, 2010

Omnivision Q4/FY2010 Earnings Call

Seeking Alpha published Omnivision Q4/FY2010 Earnings Call. Talking about BSI progress Omnivision says:

Shaw Hong, CEO:

"The BSI shipment ramp provide an improvement in our product mix during the fourth quarter [last quarter, that is], with a concentration of OmniBSI primarily in our higher-resolution devices. In particular, we are pleased with the continue market share gain of our 5- and 8-megapixel devices in the mobile phone and DSC markets in which are now in full mass production with several major customers."

Omnivision was quite cautious commenting on its BSI technology lead over competitors in the following question:

Betsy Van Hees - Wedbush Securities:

"So when you look into competition though, how far does that [BSI] lead stay ahead? Is anyone catching you? Or are you just going to continue to dominate the field in this area?"

Bruce Weyer, VP WW Marketing:

"So we hear of competitors starting to potentially sample products, but sampling products and meeting the performance goals of our customers could very well be different things. It does take a while to perfect these types of technologies. So I'm not in a position to fully state where they're at in their development process, but based on our sampling window to strong leadership position, we think we're in a pretty good shape."

Ray Cisneros, VP WW Sales:

"And just another comment about that. It's going from sampling to mass production in tens of millions of units per quarter, that's the big learning curve that everybody's got to go through. And as Bruce mentioned, it's difficult to understand where our competition is in that curve. But suffice it to say from our side, it's a learning curve that's not easy and it's not overnight."

On the WLC becoming a primary handset camera:

Yair Reiner - Oppenheimer & Co.:

" terms of the wafer-level camera, I know you've been trying to get that into design as a primary camera, kind of a lower-end feature phone. How is that coming, and when do you think there's a chance to start shipping that in volume?"

Ray Cisneros:

"Well, we're shipping wafer-level module, a product today. ...its primary application is secondary video cameras for handsets. The nirvana or the end goal of many of these products is to be the primary camera for handsets as well as for other products. But it's going to be a learning curve for both sides, the supplier side, ourselves as well as the our customers' side, to understand where exactly that fits and when does it fit in. On top of that, there are some technological hurdles that most people are working on which are optical advancements. So it's in progress. I'd imagine it's going to take a few quarters before that is fully captured in primary applications."

On the product and market split:

Ray Cisneros:

"...unit sales of sensors that were VGA below were approximately 60% in the fourth quarter. Our wafer-level module shipments were approximately equivalent compared to the prior quarter.
...Unit sales of 1.3-megapixel sensors increased to approximately 12% of total shipments.
...unit sales of sensors 2-megapixel and higher increased... to approximately 27% of total shipments.

In terms of product markets, our mobile phone sales represented approximately 55% of our revenues in the fourth quarter. Notebook and PC sales were approximately 30% of revenues in the quarter. Sales of our other emerging market products accounted for approximately 15%.


  1. OVT may be ahead of the competition in terms of cheap bsi for phones, but when it comes to high quality bsi for dsc's, camcorders, OVT is far behind, especially Sony. Toshiba has a 14mp bsi for phones that will soon be out and Samsung is not far behind for bsi for phones using bulk silicon.

  2. It was frustrating to hear Ray Cisneros talking about a few more quarters for WLC's when STM and Toshiba have mainstreamed their cameras a year ago and the industry had shipped 80 million last year. Heptagon itself has already shipped its 100 millionth wafer-scale lens.(to who?)
    Ray Cisneros
    "On top of that, there are some technological hurdles that most people are working on which are optical advancements. So it's in progress. I'd imagine it's going to take a few quarters before that is fully captured in primary applications."

  3. is sony CMOS or CCD?

  4. After doing some calculations, Using the 65nm BSI-2 process, 1.1u pixels and 12" wafers, Omnivision should be able to make a pretty good 5 MP sensor for less than $.50 and, using a 1.4u BSI-2 pixel, a very good 5 MP sensor for less than $.75.
    How do the guys stuck on FSI and 8" wafers and 1.75u pixels compete? Thinking mainly of Aptina.

  5. Could you share with us your calculations?

  6. ovt does not use 12 inch for bsi, they use 8 inch wafers.

  7. he forgot to adjust for the terrible yields they're having that were discussed in the recent conference call. if you think the yields on bsi-1 are bad, wait til you see the yields on bsi-2.

    btw, bsi-1 uses 8 inch wafers but bsi-2 is suppose to use 12 inch as was discussed on ISW not too long ago.

    why would a customer want to buy bsi-1 when they could get the better bsi-2 product for cheaper. i bet OV must mark down the bsi-1 product substantially to move it before they can sell any bsi-2 product and this may explain why OV executives were unable to confirm the sustainability og improved average selling prices and margins going forward.

    I feel OV has terrible timing compared to their competitors.


All comments are moderated to avoid spam and personal attacks.