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Monday, April 06, 2009

Growth of Digital Cameras in New Devices

Continued uptake of digital cameras in mobile phones, notebook PCs and other CE devices is driving growth in the area-array image sensor market, according to the latest market study by In-Stat.

Worldwide unit shipments of image sensors in camera phones continue to rise, mostly as a result of the continuing penetration of dual-camera phones in Asian markets. These phones utilize both a traditional point-and-shoot camera, as well as a second, inward-facing camera for two-way video communication.

As in most aspects of advanced mobile phone applications, the Asia-Pacific market continues to lead the way for others to follow. A promising new image sensor application is also taking hold.

"Currently a small segment of the market, embedded PC cameras will surpass digital still cameras to become the second-largest application for image sensors by 2011," says Brian O'Rourke, In-Stat analyst.

"A few years ago, only Apple incorporated cameras into desktop and laptop computers -- in 2008, nearly all major PC manufacturers offered embedded PC cameras in mobile PCs."

In-Stat's market study found the following:

- Camera phones comprised nearly 81 percent of area-array image sensor shipments in 2008, a share that is expected to shrink only slightly through 2013.

- Other key applications include: Digital Still Cameras, Camcorders, Security Cameras, Web Cameras, Consumer IP Cameras, Embedded PC Cameras, Embedded LCD Monitor Cameras, Toys, Automotive.

- CMOS sensors dominated image sensor shipments in 2008, with more than an 87 percent share.

- CMOS will make up 62 percent of security camera image sensors by 2013.

- While CMOS is gaining in digital still cameras, it will not surpass CCDs until 2013.

- Among the many competitors in this market are Aptina, MagnaChip, OmniVision Technologies, Sharp, Sony, and Panasonic.