Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Low Resolution Sensors Shortage

IFNews quotes Laoyaoba report that VGA, 2MP, and 5MP image sensor prices went up by 20-40% due to the recent shortages. As more and more multi-camera configurations are now being applied to smart terminal products, the market demand mainly for mobile phones has further expanded, and the shortage and higher prices may continue.

In the past, Galaxycore used to ship ~100-110M sensors a month, but it's out of stock now. The price of Galaxycore 5MP sensors used to be 50-60 cents a piece, 2MP ones - 30 cents, but now 5MP sensor price grew up to 70 cents, while 2MP is 43 cents.


  1. 43cents for a 2MP CIS - including the cost for all hundreds of process steps involved and still they need to get some little profit... for all the machinery for steppers, all the other stuff in frontend, the packaging, wirebonders, glas lid attach, testing, packing and shipping. really incredible that this is possible.

    1. As these sensors are for mobile phones, no packaging, no wire, no glass lid.

    2. the glas lid and wirebonds were examples (I wonder how else they contact the die to the outer world? if not wirebonds they need to apply some sort of bumps, right? I thought wirebonds still are somehow the cheapest option for this type of die. And I have to correct myself ;-) the original price was 30cents! Now as there are shortages they can ask 43. 30 cents selling price for such a device with all the miracles in its process steps included (especially the steppers are like miracles to me - how these guys achieve to reach the accuracy needed, the overlay mismatch for subsequent exposures for example...). Its a miracle for me that a company can manage that after all a device is produced that only costs 30 cents and hence is produced for less than 30...

    3. if this is such kind of product:
      there are no visible wirebonds. With what technology are image sensor dies of this kind contacted to the carrier PCB?

    4. It's neither miracle nor magic, it's simple math. These image sensor companies sell wafers to camera module makers, so the 43cents is the price of a BARE DIE, no packaging, no wirebonding.

      A 2MP sensor is around 2mmx2mm and a $1000 CIS 8" wafer yields around 7,000 dice. Let's assume yield is 90%, so the manufacturing cost per bare die is: $1000/(0.9*7000)=16cents. Consider 5cent per die as overhead and G&A cost, the final cost to the supplier is around 21cents. Selling 100M of these sensors per year bring the supplier (0.43-0.21)*100M=$22M net profit. Not that bad ha?

    5. thanks! one of the things the human brain (well - maybe I should say my brain or some brains ;-)) is not so good in - is the power of mulitiplication.
      Is 8" still the most cost effective wafer size for this type of sensors? What would you consider the cost magnitude of a "wafer of image sensors" when it comes to 12"?


All comments are moderated to avoid spam and personal attacks.