Saturday, May 16, 2020

Beyond Ventures: US-China Trade War Creates Opportunities for Smartsens

EJInsight: Lap Man, a founder of Beyond Ventures in Hong Kong and one of SmartSens investors, believes that the tensions between the USA and China create new opportunities ahead for chip makers like SmartSens Tech. “Under the trade war, many firms have no choice but to consider using chips made in China, which presents a unique opportunity for Chinese chipmakers.

Beyond Ventures has participated in a funding round of SmartSens Tech, led by Samsung and ARM China, according to Lap Man.

Update: Smartsens CMO Ms. Chris You has contacted me and corrected the above statements: "First, I should note that Mr. Lap Man’s opinion is his alone, and although he is an investor, he does not represent SmartSens’ viewpoint. Therefore, I believe your title could mislead some readers to think that SmartSens is attempting to benefit from the current situation. However, the truth is quite the opposite: It is our opinion that neither semiconductor customers nor anyone in the semiconductor supply chain can truly operate independently at this time, and no party benefits from a trade war."

Digitimes writes about Smartsens (in Microsoft translation).

Update: Smartsens kindly sent me a high-quality human translation of the article. See the quotes below.

"SmartSens Technology has emerged as one of the area’s premier CIS vendors. The company is located in Shanghai’s Caohejing High-Tech Park and has held the honor of World's No. 1 CIS Vendor in Security Surveillance Shipments for the past two consecutive years [TSR Report H1 2019]. Founded in 2011, SmartSens has focused on delivering high-performance CIS solutions for security applications and has also gained traction in several other vertical markets such as automotive electronics, consumer electronics (such as drones and robots), and artificial intelligence (with applications such as facial recognition-based payments).

SmartSens’ rapid growth can be tied to its innovative pairing of high-quality CMOS sensors with cutting-edge artificial intelligence, much of which is rooted in the capabilities of its Taiwanese supply chain. For example, the SmartGS™ series SC132GS, based on the global shutter technology using the BSI Stacked process fabricated in Taiwan’s major foundry company, has excellent performance at high frame rate of 120fps, optimized near-infrared sensitivity and excellent shutter efficiency.

The company’s CMO Chris Yiu ...noted that the key requirement in security surveillance applications is near-infrared sensitivity, because most security surveillance cameras use 850-940nm range NIR LED lights for night-time image capture. SmartSens’ partnership with its Taiwan factory has been committed to improving the sensitivity of the NIR range, and resulted in an industry first, when it launched its CIS solution in 2017. "Today, all mid- to high-segment SmartSens products provide this near-infrared enhancement as a standard feature, but we pioneered this pathway, and we continue to advance the technology for the benefit of the entire industry," said Ms. Yiu.

Eric Chu, General Manager of SmartSens’ Taiwan institutional investment company WK Innovation Ltd., noted: "Image sensing will become the focus of future growth in the semiconductor industry. As a leading CMOS image sensor chip company, SmartSens has been at the forefront of sensor innovation in the many touchpoints of our supply chain. We’re optimistic about the positive feedback loop brought on by in-depth collaboration between SmartSens and the fab and packaging and testing plants."


  1. It should be noticed that Taiwan is not China. As long as you use the Taiwan factory, no chance for it.

  2. Taiwan is still officially defined as Republic of CHINA (R.O.C.) in their constitution.


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