Pause forecast for CMOS image sensor market

August 18, 2015 // By Peter Clarke
The CMOS image sensor market will continue to enjoy high annual growth rates until 2017 and 2018, when it will pause, according to IC Insights.

The strong annual growth rates of 18.9, 14.8 and 16.8 percent in 2014, 2015 and 2016, respectively, are due to increasing application diversity after a climb in the first half of the decade on the back of smartphone proliferation, the market analysis company said. Now similar resolutions and lower-resolution sensors are moving into automotive applications, machine vision, surveillance and sensors for Internet of Things, the firm argued.

IC Insights gave no reason for the expected pause in sales growth in 2017 although this may represent an expected market reaction to a potential oversupply of sensors.

In 2015 the CMOS image sensor market will climb 14.8 percent to reach a value of $10.1 billion, IC Insights reckons. CMOS image sensor unit shipments are now projected to grow 19 percent in 2015 to reach 3.7 billion units after rising 20 percent in 2014 and 2013.

Global CMOS image sensor market by market value and unit shipments. Source IC Insights.

In 2014, about 70 percent of CMOS image sensor sales – about $6.2 billion – were for embedded cameras in mobile phones, but that percentage is expected to fall to 49 percent in 2019 or about $7.3 billion, which represents a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of just 3.4 percent. In comparison, total CMOS image sensor sales are projected to grow by a CAGR of 11.1 percent in the five-year forecast period to reach $15.0 billion in 2019.

Next: growth rates by application