Sunday, February 21, 2021

Tower CIS Sales Represent 18% of Total Revenue

SeekingAlpha: Tower Semi's earnings call transcript gives some details about its image sensor sales. Only sensors for high end photography were separated, while other image sensors are mixed with other sales categories:

"Automotive was $180 million, which we serve with power ICs, power discretes, imaging and RF radar. Consumer, including computing, power management for home appliances and general accessories, and home-use security cameras was approximately $220 million. Industrial was approximately $100 million. Image sensors for high-end photography and medical applications, was at about $50 million.

Moving to our sensors and display business unit; first to discuss CMOS image sensors. In the past quarter with OPIX, we introduced a state-of-the-art indirect time-of-flight iToF imager with unparalleled performance and accuracy and sensitivity. Based on OPIX measurements, the sensor 17 accuracy are better, meaning higher level, higher performance than the two otherwise industry-leading iToF sensors in the market.

This sensor will enter volume production in the second quarter of this year. It is planned to be embedded in smartphones and other devices for face recognition and 3D imaging applications such as fast autofocus and artistic picture focused blurring effects. The sensor is based upon our unique pixel level stacking, state-of-the-art platform with the best in industry less than 2-micron electrical connection pitch.

During last year, we engaged in several programs of large x-ray sensors, some already having moved to production. Our differentiation in this market is in pixel performance, especially sensitivity and linearity and in yields.

For 300-millimeter, we are the only foundry to supply stitched sensors, in mass production. 300-millimeter tooling enables very high yields. And very importantly, a design advantage to manufacture a full, 21 centimeter, by 21 centimeter detector from one wafer and hence eliminating, the need for expensive wafer tiling.

Our next-generation industrial sensors on 300-millimeter, using our state-of-the-art global shutter pixels are also ramping into mass production. Our pixel size of 2.5 micron is the smallest in the world. We provide high-resolution sensors, with current maximum resolutions of 288 megapixels, with excellent sensitivity and shutter efficiency, for the display screening market.

We expect to see many of these new machine vision sensor products, based on our 65-nanometer, 300-millimeter platform, ramped to production this year. The industrial market continues to grow steadily. And we expect to see nice growth of these high-resolution sensors, tens of millions of dollars, at a high margin. The lifetime of such products is long, five to eight years.

The imaging area that for us was hit the hardest by COVID was dental X-ray. We are encouraged to see an initial increase in purchase orders and customer forecasts, now show second half of the year fully recovering, returning to pre-COVID run rates."

Zacks/SCR reports that image sensor sales represent about 18% of Tower revenue:

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