The spread of digital-imaging applications is offsetting weakness in the global economy and the fallout from the U.S-China trade war, according to IC Insights. The market research firm sees CMOS image sensor sales rising 9.2 percent in 2019 to $15.5 billion, followed by a 4 percent increase in 2020 to $16.1 billion.
Global market for CMOS image sensors 2013 to 2023F. Source: IC Insights.
The growth predicted by IC Insights is slightly lower than the 10.1 percent growth for the market predicted by Yole Developpement in July (see CMOS image sensor market to grow 10.1 percent in 2019 ).
IC Insights is forecasting an 11 percent rise in CMOS image sensor shipments in 2019 to 6.1 billion units worldwide, followed by a 9 percent increase in 2020 to 6.6 billion. In 2018, CMOS image sensor revenue grew 14 percent to $14.2 billion after climbing 19 percent in 2017.
China accounted for about 39 percent of all image sensors purchased in 2018 and not counting units bought by companies in other countries for system production in Chinese assembly plants.
Smartphone cameras continue to be the largest end-use market for CMOS image sensors and represented 61 percent of sales and 64 percent of unit shipments in 2018. IC Insights states that automotive applications are growing fast and represented 6 percent of the overall market in 2018. With a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 29.7 percent the automotive CMOS image sensor market will grow to $3.2 billion in 2023, or 15 percent of the market’s total sales that year.
After that, the highest sales growth rates in the next five years are expected to be: medical/scientific systems (a CAGR of 22.7% to $1.2 billion); security cameras (a CAGR of 19.5% to $2.0 billion); industrial, including robots and the Internet of Things (a CAGR of 16.1% to $1.8 billion); and toys and games, including consumer-class virtual/augmented reality (a CAGR of 15.1% to $172 million).