Thursday, May 07, 2020

Himax Reports Q1 Results

GlobeNewswire: Himax quarterly report updates on its image sensing business:

Ultralow power smart sensing

The Company is seeing a surging demand for battery-powered smart devices with AI-enabled, ultralow power intelligent sensing, especially in markets such as home appliances, door lock, doorbell, TV, notebook, building control and security.

WiseEye, the Company’s total solution for AI-based ultralow power smart sensing, is built on Emza’s unique AI-based algorithm, on top of Himax’s proprietary computer vision processor and CMOS image sensor, all equipped with ultralow power design. Currently laptop is the market of focus. Himax WiseEye 2.0 NB solution provides a ‘laptop-ready’ 3-in-1 RGB/IR/AI solution, respecting privacy while enhancing security for notebook users. A number of leading notebook OEMs and ODMs demonstrated the Company’s WiseEye NB solution in their next generation premium notebooks with positive feedbacks. In addition to notebook, the Company has also made progress with more OEMs in WiseEye solution into the displays to enable consumer privacy protection in real time and a reference design of the world’s first battery-powered human sensing solution for IoT market. Although the Covid-19 disrupted the development schedule, Himax sees customers already starting product promotion.

Moreover, for those customers/partners whose main business is to provide AI processor, Himax can offer its ultralow power image sensors without its AI processor and algorithm. The Company is pleased to report that its industry-first ultralow power backside-illuminated VGA CMOS image sensor has already been commercialized. It’s designed with low latency and autonomous modes for always-on, intelligent visual sensing applications which enables, with extremely low power consumption, human presence detection and tracking, gaze detection, behavioral analysis, and pose estimation for growing markets such as smart home, smart building, healthcare, smartphone and AR/VR devices. The VGA resolution also support greater than 90-degree wide field-of-view lens that makes it ideal in monitoring, detecting and image capturing.

Himax expects demand for the ultralow power sensing AIoT market to explode in the near future and numerous customers/ecosystem partners are expressing interest in the Company’s unique technology where it has made extraordinary progress in AI TV, smart home appliance, smart door lock/bell, smart surveillance applications that integrate voice and audio activation beyond facial recognition on edge device.

CMOS Image Sensor

Himax has covered its ultralow power smart sensing product status above. Now turning to the CMOS image sensor business update. The Company expects to see strong growth in this business due to the accelerated adoption of home working and online education.

The Company’s industry first 2-in-1 CMOS image sensor, which is another critical part of the WiseEye 2.0 NB total solution, is currently available for its partners/customers. This hybrid CMOS image sensor combines high quality HD image capabilities with ultralow power output for AI visual sensing applications, specifically for NBs. Featured in unique design and small form factor, it enables laptop makers to achieve ultra-narrow bezel design which is on track to become the mainstream in the next couple of years. The Company’s sensor has also incorporated an RGB-IR design to enable Windows Hello facial recognition. It helps reduce cost by eliminating the need to add an additional camera. Himax expects a small volume shipment for this product in 2020 with much expanded volume in the years after.

For the traditional human vision segments, Himax sees strong demand in notebooks, where the Company is one of the market leaders, and has experienced increased shipments for multimedia applications such as car recorders, surveillance, drones, home appliances, and consumer electronics, among others.

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