CMOS sensors continue to dominate image sensor market

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CMOS sensors continued to expand their lead of the overall image sensor market in 2011, pushing ccd sensors into an increasingly isolated space, according to IHS iSuppli.

IHS reports that shipments of cmos sensors accounted for 92% of all area image sensors in 2011, a share that translated into 2.1billion units, up 31% from 1.6bn in 2010. With the remaining 8% of the market, ccd sensor shipments fell to 180.3million units in 2011 – 2% down from 184.5m in 2010. According to IHS, in 2010 the cmos share of the market was 90% vs 10% for ccd. IHS forecasts that the pattern of cmos dominance will continue through the years in the face of ccd's irreversible decline. By 2015, it believes cmos shipments will amount to 3.6bn (97% market share), compared to ccd shipments of 95.2m (3%). Mobile handsets remain the dominant application for cmos sensors, representing 79% of total cmos shipments in 2011. Video conferencing is the second biggest application market in terms of cmos shipments, due to the inclusion of cameras in notebook computers. CMOS sensors also found increasing use in two growing markets: the security space through network video surveillance systems; and in automotive systems through the use of back up cameras and in such applications as lane departure warning, blind spot detection and infrared night vision. In comparison, IHS reports that ccds are finding acceptance in the industrial markets and in digital still cameras. However, even here, ccd use is declining. Among high end DSLR cameras, the analyst notes, ccd use will shrink from 12% in 2011 to just 1% by 2014. And because the camera space is weakening as a whole, while consumers gravitate toward smartphones, overall ccd consumption will decline further, IHS believes.