Saturday, August 29, 2015

Yole Interviews Sunex on ADAS Cameras

Yole Developpement publishes an interview with Peter Hark, Director of Automotive Sales and Marketing at Sunex. Few quotes:

"The low-end of [ADAS] market concerning rear view cameras is very mature and not very dynamic. The high-end is more about high resolution surround-view cameras from which images are stitched together to give a bird’s eye view of a car, i.e. for parking assist purposes. This area is enjoying high growth. Another growth area are forward-facing cameras which, due to new regulations (especially NCAP in Europe, but also in the U.S.), are being increasingly adopted.

At Sunex, we’ve developed what we call the NoGhost technology, which is able to reduce straylight effects. This has great value for HDR sensors. <...> Likewise thermally-compensated optics add value to computer vision applications such as forward sensing cameras where they can extend the operational temperature range.

Sunex Youtube video shows its NoGhost lens advantages:

Friday, August 28, 2015

IHS Sees Bright Future for Gesture Control

IHS publishes a nice infographics on gesture control market:

Yole Report on Camera Module Market

Yole Developpement publishes 2015 Camera Module Industry Report. The Compact Camera Module (CCM) market is forecasted to double in the next five years.

"Driven by mobile and automotive applications, the CCM industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 16.8% from 2014 - 2020, reaching a total aggregate revenue of US$51B by 2020.

Automotive module revenue reached $1.2B in 2014, and growing at a CAGR of 36% should reach $7.9B by 2020. This exceptional growth has mainly benefited the CCM industry’s second-tier players, but the response of market leaders will be worth watching.

There is a different market trajectory for the lens and sensor markets, which are now maturing at ~14% CAGR with the emergence of giant billion-dollar companies. The CCM and auto-focus manufacturing markets, which are still very fragmented and growing at ~20% CAGR, should experience consolidation over the next five years.

The current CCM industry is controlled by Asian firms, mainly Korean and Japanese, but we’re also witnessing the rise of Chinese firms and the restructure of Taiwanese firms. An ongoing price war has leveled the market, and most players have operations in China or Vietnam.

IEEE Open Access Papers

IEEE Transactions on Electron Devices opens an early access to ON Semi paper "A 47 Million Pixel High-Performance Interline CCD Image Sensor" by Shen Wang, Douglas A. Carpenter, Adam DeJager, James A. DiBella, James E. Doran, Robert P. Fabinski, Andrew Garland, James A. Johnson, and Ryan Yaniga. The 47MP CCD is said to be "the world’s highest resolution interline-transfer CCD, has been developed for industrial, machine vision, and aerial photography applications. The sensor features a 5.5-┬Ám pixel, 16-output low-noise amplifier and a low-smear, fast-dump gate, horizontal lateral overflow drain, and on-chip temperature sensor. One challenge to manufacture this large sensor is stitching the sensor with different lithography tools, while still achieving equal or better image performance than its predecessor."

IEEE Journal on Solid-State Circuits publishes an open access paper "A Dynamic Vision Sensor With 1% Temporal Contrast Sensitivity and In-Pixel Asynchronous Delta Modulator for Event Encoding" by Yang, M., Liu, S.-C., and Delbruck, T., University of Zurich and ETH Zurich, Switzerland. "A dynamic vision sensor (DVS) encodes temporal contrast (TC) of light intensity into address-events that are asynchronously transmitted for subsequent processing. This paper describes a DVS with improved TC sensitivity and event encoding."

Thanks to DSSB for the links!

Hynix Prepares 13MP Mobile Sensor Samples

Hynix Q3 2015 catalog lists 13MP, 1.12um pixel sensor engineering samples planned for Q4 2015:

Tessera to Buy Ziptronix for $39M

BusinessWire: Tessera announces the acquisition of Ziptronix for $39 million in cash. Ziptronix’s patented ZiBond direct bonding and DBI hybrid bonding technologies have been licensed to Sony for volume production of its CMOS image sensors.

Dan Donabedian, President and CEO of Ziptronix says, “We’ve taken our technology from concept to commercialization in the backside illuminated image sensor and RF markets. Joining the Tessera family of companies combines our efforts with a proven leader in technology development and licensing in the semiconductor industry. This is a great alignment of companies that can address rapidly expanding 2.5D and 3D-IC markets.

The addition of the Ziptronix team will not change Tessera’s target operating expense structure. Tessera is making no adjustments to third quarter 2015 revenue or earnings per share guidance.

Omnivision Quarterly Earnings Call

SeekingAlpha publishes Omnivision's quarterly earnings call transcript. The company CEO Shaw Hong says on the acquisition status by Hua Capital Management, CITIC Capital, and GoldStone Investment:

"Currently, we expect the transaction will close in the third or fourth quarter of this fiscal year. However, the transaction is still subject to regulatory approvals, including antitrust review in the People’s Republic of China, review and clearance by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., clearance or approval under applicable Taiwan law, and other customary closing conditions.

As of today, we have not obtained all the necessary approvals, nor have we met all the closing conditions. As such, there’s no assurance that the proposed acquisition by the consortium will close.

Aurelio Cisneros, SVP of WW Sales updates:

"In our first fiscal quarter, we shipped 215 million units, as compared to 180 million units in our prior quarter, reflecting strength in our mobile market and strong growth in our automotive and security markets.

Unit sales of 8-megapixel and above represented approximately 19% of total shipments in the fiscal first quarter equivalent to the prior quarter. Unit sales of 3 to 5-megapixel category represented approximately 40% of total shipments, as compared to 38% in the prior quarter for the same category. Unit sales of 2-megapixel and below represented approximately 41% of total shipments, as compared to 43% in the prior quarter.

In terms of target markets, our mobile phone sales represented approximately 65% of revenues in the first fiscal quarter, as compared to 69% in the prior quarter. Our automotive segment represented 10% of sales, as compared to 9% in our prior quarter. Quarter-on-quarter, the automotive market showed a robust 25% growth.

One fast emerging category is the virtual reality or augmented reality headsets being designed by a vast variety of brand-name OEMs or high potential startups. This category has a broad scope of applications from entertainment, gaming, education, industrial, enterprise, or simply web surfing. We have begun shipping early mass production volumes to a Tier 1 brand-name customer, utilizing our highly specialized global shutter sensors. We are also engaged in several other virtual reality and augmented reality, headset potential applications and designs.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Machine Vision Camera Trends

Adimec publishes "Top 5 predictions for the future in machine vision." Out of the top 5, two trends are related to image sensors:
  • Trend #1 From CCD to CMOS even for high-end machine vision and defense systems.
  • Trend #2 Smaller pixels for industrial image sensors.
"Today’s pixel sizes are 4.5 to 5.5 um (industrial cameras – much smaller in the consumer/ cell phone market). In 2-3 years, industrial sensors will have pixel sizes of 3 to 3.5 um. We anticipate this will be the end of the pixel size race. Now image sensor developers are able to focus on functionality such as improving the global shutter and performance."

Thanks to TL for the link!

REAL3 by Infineon

Infineon marketing has coined a new name for its PMD-based ToF image sensors - REAL3. It looks like the REAL3 family of two sensors is the same as before, just their family name has been changed:

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Connected Home Camera Demand Drops

Electronics Weekly: Consumer demand for connected home products, including wireless security cameras, dropped dramatically in the first half of 2015, according to Argus Insights. "Early adopters have gotten what they need, and now products are not compelling typical consumers to create a connected home."

"The big buzz last year was over security cameras. Dropcam was huge, and made even more news when it was acquired by Nest Labs, which had previously been acquired by Google. (The recent Nest camera has been more coolly received.) Kickstarter launches, such as the Canary and Piper security cameras attracted a lot of attention to the market, resulting in more new product introductions, but the optimism of 2014 turned into the reality of 2015 as that market has dropped, due partly to connectivity and usability issues."