Sunday, May 12, 2019

HIDM - Chinese Image Sensor IDM

It has been a while since my previous post about Huaian Imaging Device Manufacturer Corp (HIDM). A lot more becomes known about the company and its business:

"HiDM was founded in January 19, 2016, and the total investment is expected to exceed 50 billion RMB. The headquarters is located in Huai’an, Jiangsu, China. The first phase of the project is expected to invest 15 billion Yuan for the 12-inch wafer fab with an annual output of 240,000 wafers, covering an area of 257 acres and has been basically completed. It is a semiconductor company focusing on CMOS Image Sensor.

Our company takes mobile phone camera chip as the breakthrough point, and integrates resources, technology, channels and customers in an all-round way. It is in the leading position in the industry from design, production to sales. Besides, we have maintained stable cooperative relationship with HUAWEI and other mobile phone leading enterprises and the market prospect is really broad.

Now we have obtained technological platform authorization from a European semiconductor company. Our products are widely used in mobile phones, monitoring, vehicle, IOT, medical, robot and other fields. In April 2016, Toshiba CIS technology core team was built to join HiDM, the product design and R & D team came from the Toshiba team. At present, our company has a complete set of advanced design and independent process capability with world-class technological level.

ON Semi reports it has licensed its mobile imaging related assets to HIDM:

"On December 19, 2016, the Company entered into an Asset Purchase Agreement (the “Asset Purchase Agreement”) with HSET Electronic Tech (Hong Kong) Limited (“HSET”) to sell inventory and license patents related to its Mobile CIS business for $75.0 million. On April 7, 2017, the Company and HSET along with Huaian Imaging Device Manufacturer Corporation (“HIDM”) entered into the First Amendment to the Asset Purchase Agreement. The arrangement included the sale of $22.5 million of inventory, which has been recorded as revenue for the year ended December 31, 2017.

During 2017, the Company received the remaining $52.5 million and provided perpetual, non-exclusive licenses to certain technologies to HIDM.

In 2018, HIDM has filed 279 patent applications and is ranking #65 in the world:


  1. Imagine a world where US handset makers (Moto,Apple) were pressured to buy from American chip manufacturers, or Korean handset makers from Korean chip manufacturers. I suppose that is one way to justify a $7B investment into such a plant. I wish we could have such a new, dedicated fab in the US. I don't think Fishkill (Global Foundries -> ON Semi) will fulfill this role..but who knows - wouldn't that be something!? But I hear it is going to be small ICs on 12" wafers.

    1. Well, American chip manufacturers are still in the top of the semi companies. China heavily relies on US chip supply. The problem is that the fabs are not built in the US. Also, being forced can be disastrous if the supply is not up to the rest of the world best tech. In fact, despite the huge investments, China is still lagging behind.

    2. Everything I'm hearing about the Fishkill fab says it's for the Analog and Power Solutions business units, not the Intelligent Sensor BU.

    3. Indeed, 300mm wafers yield a lot of small ICs meaning COGS can be small, and if the technology node is not so important, then masks and the fab processes are also relatively inexpensive. So if you can find a cheap 300mm fab for sale, it all makes sense.


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