Tuesday, October 30, 2018

TowerJazz Talks about Tier 1 DSLR Customer, More

SeekingAlpha: TowerJazz Q3 earnings call has few updates on the company's image sensor business:

"In the image sensor area, I personally met with three very exciting customers in the past quarter. Capitalized by our 300 millimeter Japanese factory, we won the leading sole position as a foundry supplier with a multi-generation roadmap for a Tier 1 DSLR customer, the high level and working level meeting, reconfirmed both the appreciation for the joint activity milestone achievements, and the timeline for release of our first and second generation products.

Another meeting was with an extremely exciting company in the area of augmented reality resulting in a reconfirmation of our wind for the next generation time of flight product for our next-generation or per time-of-flight product for the next-generation product, expecting high volume release in 2020 and continued further detailed operational and technical program alignments for subsequent generations.

Lastly, I met with one of the top revenue leaders in the image sensor market with whom he presently have no business with strong discussions and activities, including wafers that will shortly be shipped from a 300 millimeter line with our most advanced processes. We are encouraged and confident to gain market share with this customer in this area.

Our image sensor management, the General Manager, Dr. Avi Strum with additional leading technical experts, held a prestigious seminar in San Francisco this past month. This unique CIS technical seminar showcased our advanced platform and cutting edge technical solutions and advanced manufacturing capabilities for a wide range of imaging growing markets.

28 handpicked sensor companies attended with TowerJazz providing detailed technical reviews, analysis and notes on the customer and industry benefits for our customized pixel solutions for global shutter, near infrared enhanced pixels, Backside Illumination and stacked wafer, 3D sensing and LiDAR among others. On November 5, we will hold additional seminar addressing the European sensor market.

...we'll be having continued ramp within large area image sensors and that has already taken off. That's where we're serving studio and medical applications right now coming into the end of 2019, 2020 timeframe, where we'll be wrapping the DSLR first generation products of a very, very big customer.

We have many projects for high-end image sensor running right now, in Uozu. It is a well known that especially the high-end image sensor project takes time to ramp. But once they are ramping, the longevity of such projects is about between eight to 12 years. We have started this activity, for example, we said DSLR Tier 1 customer a year-ago, but it takes time for that product to get into production. Once it's in production, it would keep for many, many years.


  1. Who are the potential customers that Tower could be referencing?

    1. Panasonic don't make DSLRs anymore. They have gone completely mirrorless.

      Todays DSLR companies are Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Hasselblad, Phase One and Leica. Its very unlikely Canon buys sensors from TowerJazz as they prefer to make their own, but I think all of the others are potential.

    2. Nikon!

      Tier 1 Nikon
      Tier 2 Sony
      Tier 3 Panasonic
      Tier 4 Sigma
      Tier 5 Cannon

  2. TowerJazz and Panasonic have a joint venture for many years now https://tpsemico.com/.
    No, it's not Panasonic.

    I strongly suspect Tier 1 customer is Canon, Organic Film from Panasonic and TowerJazz silicon. TowerJazz has been looking for a long time to provide hybrid image solutions such as organic film using their foundry silicon to bring to mass production.

  3. It was somewhere discussed that Nikon is the customer of TJ. Canon is going slowly MILC as everybody else.

    Nevertheless 8-12 years timeframe for a single generation of CMOS seems awkward aside from Machine and or medicine industries. Let us never forget that main customer that is NOT DSLR is RED. I forsee Alexa as well anytime soon.

    Pentax, Hasselblad, Phase One are all SONY customers now, but you never know when who will be where. I wonder Fujifilm is using SONY or TJ?


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