The market was up 19.8 percent from $11.6 billion in 2017 mainly driven by smartphones and the desire to add improved cameras. However, Yole believes the CMOS image sensor has a bright future driven by new applications in autonomous vehicles and industrial and machine vision. By 2023 Yole predicts the annual market will have climbed to more than $23 billion, a compound annual growth rate of 9.4 percent from 2017 to 2023.
In 2017 image sensor revenue was led by mobile sector worth 69 percent of the market. Computer notebook and consumer applications were responsible for 16 percent, followed by automotive and security, according to Yole.
CMOS image sensor vendors ranked by 2017 market share. Source: Yole Developpement.
The market leaders are: Sony, Samsung, and Omnivision followed by On Semi and STMicroelectronics. Sony's market share increased in 2017 to 42 percent. In 2015 Sony's market share was 35 percent and STMicroelectronics was ranked tenth with 2 percent of a $10.3 billion market (see Sony bulks up, ST falls in image sensor vendor ranking ).
CMOS image sensor annual market revenues in dollar billions. Source: Yole Developpement.
"Apple iPhone has had a tremendous effect on the semiconductor industry, and on imaging in particular. It offered an opportunity for its main supplier, Sony, to reach new highs in the CIS process, building on its early advances in high-end digital photography," said Pierre Cambou, an analyst at Yole.
Another image sensor company to grow market share in 2017 was Chinese startup Smartsens Technology Co. Ltd.
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