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Image sensors market dominated by cameras in mobile phones with an 80% share

Press Release   •   Feb 28, 2013 09:36 GMT

The image sensors market has been forecast to increase at a constant compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.84% over the next five years, reaching a market value of $10.75 billion by the end of 2018.

Image sensors have been present since the advent of digital cameras and image reproducing devices. Since the early 1990s, image sensors have evolved from a simple single array CCD to a complex 3D array digital SLR image sensors.

An image sensor is a device that converts an optical image into an electronic signal. It is used mostly in digital cameras, camera modules and other imaging devices. Early analog sensors were video camera tubes; most currently used are digital charge-coupled device (CCD) or complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) active pixel sensors.

Currently, cameras in mobile phones are the major contributors to the global image sensors market. In 2012, approximately, 80% of the image sensors were shipped for this application.

Emerging applications such as medical imaging, POV cameras, UAV cameras, digital radiology, and factory automation factors are driving the market with their high growth rate. However, they are low volume applications and would require longer duration to impact the market heavily.

Today, most digital still cameras use either a CCD image sensor or a CMOS sensor. Both types of sensor accomplish the same task of capturing light and converting it into electrical signals.

A CCD image sensor is an analog device. When light strikes the chip it is held as a small electrical charge in each photo sensor. The charges are converted to voltage one pixel at a time as they are read from the chip. Additional circuitry in the camera converts the voltage into digital information.

A CMOS imaging chip is a type of active pixel sensor made using the CMOS semiconductor process. Extra circuitry next to each photo sensor converts the light energy to a voltage. Additional circuitry on the chip may be included to convert the voltage to digital data.

Major players currently dominating the global image sensors market include Aptina, LLC (U.S.), OmniVision Technologies, Ltd (U.S.), Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd, Sharp Corporation, Sharp Microelectronics, Sony Corporation, ST Microelectronics, and Toshiba Corporation.

For more information on the image sensors market, see the latest research: Image Sensors Market

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