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Samsung seeks to catch up with Sony in image sensor market

All Headlines 08:53 May 10, 2018

SEOUL, May 10 (Yonhap) -- Samsung Electronics Co. is seeking to narrow its gap with Japanese rival Sony Corp. in the global image sensor market, industry watchers said Thursday, as the segment is set to post sharp growth down the road on rising demand from smartphones and security solutions.

Industry tracker IC Insights estimated the annual sales of a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor at US$13.7 billion in 2018, up 10 percent from a year earlier. The researcher said the figure is anticipated to reach a whopping $19 billion in 2022.

"CMOS designs keep improving for a variety of light levels, high-speed imaging, and greater resolution as well as integrating more functions for specific applications, such as security video cameras, machine vision in robots and cars, human recognition, hand-gesture interfaces, virtual-augmented reality, and medical systems," IC Insights said in its release.

"In new smartphones, CMOS image sensors are also seeing a new wave of growth with the increase of dual-lens camera systems for enhanced photography," the researcher added.

Sony and Samsung currently lead the global market for CMOS image sensors, with the Japanese rival holding a slight edge.

In 2016, Sony and Samsung took up 25.6 percent and 22.6 percent of the market, respectively, industry data showed.

The two companies held 28.3 percent and 25.4 percent, respectively, last year. SK hynix Inc., Samsung's smaller South Korean rival, accounted for roughly 8 percent to 9 percent over the cited period.

Industry watchers, however, claim Sony takes up 50 percent of the market in terms of sales, hovering far above Samsung's 20 percent.

Samsung launched its image sensor brand named ISOCELL in June last year, in an apparent bid to catch up to Sony's Exmor products.

Samsung's ISOCELL image sensor brand (Yonhap)

colin@yna.co.kr
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