CMOS image sensors: Yole Développement is increasing its forecasts again

“2017 was an excellent year for CIS , with growth observed in all segments except computing,” commented Pierre Cambou, Principal Analyst, Technology & Market, Imaging at Yole Développement (Yole). Driven by new applications, the industry’s future remains on strong footing.

Yole announces its annual technology & market analysis focused on the CIS industry, from 2017 to 2023, titled: Status of the CMOS Image Sensor Industry. In 2017 the CIS market reached US$13.9 billion. The market research & strategy consulting company forecasts a 9.4% CAGR between 2017 and 2023, driven mainly by smartphones integrating additional cameras to support functionalities like optical zoom, biometry, and 3D interactions.

Yole proposes this year again a comprehensive technology & market analysis of the CMOS Image Industry. In addition to a clear understanding of the CIS ecosystem, analysts detail in this new edition, 2017-2023 forecasts, a relevant description of the M&A activities, an impressive overview of the dual and 3D camera trends for mobile. Mobile and consumer applications are also well detailed in this 2018 edition, with a deep added-value section focused on technology evolution.
In collaboration with Jean-Luc Jaffard, formerly at STMicroelectronics and part of Red Belt Conseil, Pierre Cambou pursued his investigation all year long and reveals today the status of the CIS industry.

2017 saw aggregated CIS industry revenue of US$13.9 billion. And 5 years later, the consulting company Yole announces more than US$ 23 billion. The YoY growth hit a peak at 20% due to the exceptional increase in image sensor value, across almost all markets, but primarily in the mobile sector. “CIS keeps its momentum”,confirms Pierre Cambou from Yole.

Revenue is dominated by mobile, consumer, and computing, which represent 85% of total 2017 CIS revenue. Mobile alone represents 69%. Security is the second-largest segment, behind automotive.

The CIS ecosystem is currently dominated by the three Asian heavyweights: Sony, Samsung, and Omnivision. Europe made a noticeable comeback. Meanwhile, the US maintains a presence in the high-end sector.

The market has benefited from the operational recovery of leading CIS player Sony, which captured 42% market share. “…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…”, explains Pierre Cambou in its article: Image sensors have hugely benefited from Apple’s avant-garde strategy posted on

The CIS industry is able to grow at the speed of the global semiconductor industry, which also had a record year, mainly due to DRAM revenue growth. CIS have become a key segment of the broader semiconductor industry, featuring in the strategy of most key players, and particularly the newly-crowned industry leader Samsung. Mobile, security and automotive markets are all in the middle of booming expansion, mostly benefiting ON Semiconductor and Omnivision.

These markets are boosting most players that are able to keep up with technology and capacity development through capital expenditure. The opportunities are all across the board, with new players able to climb the rankings, such as STMicroelectronics and Smartsense. Technology advancement and the switch from imaging to sensing is fostering innovation at multiple levels: pixel, chip, wafer, all the way to the system.

CIS sensors are also at the forefront of 3D semiconductor approaches. They are a main driver in the development of artificial intelligence. Yole’s analysts foresee new techniques and new applications all ready to keep up the market growth momentum… A detailed description of this report is available on, imaging reports section.


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