Report: Samsung raising image sensor output to compete with Sony

Report: Samsung raising image sensor output to compete with Sony

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Samsung plans to convert a DRAM wafer fab to the production of CMOS image sensors in an attempt to close the gap on market leader Sony, according to Korean Economic Daily report.
By Peter Clarke

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Sony has been market leader in CMOS image sensors for several years with about a 42 percent share of the $19.3 billion market in 2019, according to Yole Developpement (see CMOS image sensor market growth to soften). Yole ranks Samsung second with 21 percent in 2019, worth about $4.05 billion.

Now Samsung is planning to turn its 13th DRAM wafer fab at Hwaesong into a fab for CMOS image sensors, the Korean Economic Daily, reported referencing unnamed sources. This could add about 20,000 to 30,000 wafers of 300mm-diameter to Samsung’s current monthly image sensor wafer capacity of 100,000 wafers at some point in 2021.

Meanwhile Sony has a 100 billion yen (about US$1 billion) image sensor wafer fab under construction in Nagasaki Prefecture due for completion in 2021.

The restrictions on Huawei Technologies by the US government (see US government reinforces Huawei chip embargo) could make a difference to the CMOS image sensor landscape. Huawei was a large consumer of Sony sensors for its mobile phones while Samsung’s clients include Xiaomi, Oppo, Vivo and Motorola, a subsidiary of China’s Lenovo Ltd.

Related links and articles:

CMOS image sensor market growth to soften

European startup pioneers curved image sensors

Xiaomi helps image sensor startup raise $225 million

Opinion: Sony’s plan for smart image sensors could be a game changer

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