Friday, May 21, 2021

Hynix Aims to Lead SPAD-based dToF Market

SK Hynix publishes an article "Next-Generation 3D Image Sensor Component- SPAD." Few quotes:

"Sony was able to dominate the I-ToF sensor field through its acquisition of Softkinetic Systems S.A., which had the original technologies. Similarly, suppose a key semiconductor company with state-of-the-art technologies and infrastructure, such as SK hynix can actively collaborate with local researchers—we can expect to lead the growing global market of D-ToF and LiDAR sensors.

In Korea, researchers from Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) are currently leading the research of essential SPAD for D-ToF sensors to obtain the original technologies and drive the development of the next-generation of 3D stacked BSI D-ToF sensors.

In fact, according to research by Markets and Markets regarding the ToF image sensor market in 2020, it is estimated that while I-ToF sensors will experience an average annual growth of 11% by 2025, D-ToF sensors will achieve 37.3% average annual growth—more than triple that of I-ToF sensors."


  1. I disagree about dToF outgrowing iToF for higher pixel area sensors. While Apple put dToF on the map, it is very, very difficult to integrate, and a limited number of companies can do that level of heavy lifting.

    Also note the Apple module outputs a bit more than 500 pixels, while an iToF of similar die size would be about 30K pixels. Apple is using dToF for baseline depth data, adding 3D stereo data from the 2D sensors, and fusing it all together with that high end Bionic processor. Again this is a specialty area that takes lots of sensors and a super high-end (expensive) processor. dToF has a place, but I think it will be narrower and more limited than iToF.

    Maybe the growth in dToF is in low pixel proximity sensors, but that "growth" will be with sensors that are a few tens of cents each.

  2. Accelerated penetration of dToF in Mobile & Consumer is definitely uncertain, meanwhile the trend for dToF in Automotive Lidars is a lot more material


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