According to the latest report from consulting firm Omdia, there is a serious shortage of 5 million-pixel and 8 million-pixel CIS used in low-and middle-end phones. Samsung, a South Korean CMOS giant, has raised its CIS offer by 40 per cent since December, while offers from other CIS suppliers have followed suit by about 20 per cent.
The report points out that the CIS price increase is mainly due to the shortage of upstream 8-inch wafer capacity. Because 8-inch wafers have mature processes, they are responsible for the production of products such as CMOS, RF, embedded memory, CIS, MEMS sensors, etc. In addition, at present, most of the equipment of 8-inch wafer factories around the world has been depreciated, the fixed cost is low, and it is very competitive.
New era Securities analyst Mao Zheng reported on December 14, 2020 that looking to the short-and medium-term future, the expansion of the 8-inch wafer production line is limited in the short term, the downstream demand continues to be strong with the mitigation of the epidemic, and the mismatch between supply and demand may be maintained for a long time. Specific products such as RF PA, low-pixel CIS and LCD-driven IC are still in shortage, while upstream 8-inch semiconductor wafers are also in strong demand. The products of local manufacturers are also in short supply, which is worth paying attention to.
Big domestic companies have sold the car CIS track.
It is worth mentioning that under the premise that the supply side is limited, on the demand side, CIS chips may also become more popular because of the opening of another track, smart driving.
Data show that in 2019, each car carries an average of 2 CIS, while with the development of smart driving, each car can carry up to 14-15 cameras. Take the ET7 electric car released by Weilai over the weekend as an example. Its intelligent driving system carries 11 8 million pixel CIS, plus about 4 CIS, bikes in the cabin. There are about 15 CIS in total, and the value of the bike is more than 200 US dollars.
According to Guangfa Securities and Xu Xingjun's report on the 13th, if each car is equipped with 6-7 cameras on average in the future, the average CIS unit price is calculated at US $10, the value of a bike is about US $60-70, and the global annual car sales are about 90 million US dollars, then the global auto CIS market will reach US $54-6.3 billion.
Technically speaking, the main difficulty of the transition from mobile phone CIS to automobile CIS, is to improve high dynamic range (HDR) and suppress LED flicker performance. at present, there are three methods: time domain exposure stacking, large and small pixel exposure, and increasing large well capacity within pixels. The three technologies can be combined to form a three-in-one scheme to further improve the performance of automobile CIS, while small pixel technology mainly comes from mobile phone CIS.
In terms of domestic companies, Weier Holloway Technology, as the third largest CMOS manufacturer in the world in terms of shipments, is also a global leader in vehicle CMOS sensors, and has recently launched new car CIS products frequently. Just this week, it just released the automotive application-specific integrated circuit (ASIC)-OAX8000, which uses AI technology and is optimized for the entry-level independent driver monitoring system (DMS).
Wanlian Securities analyst Xia Qingying 11 report pointed out that Howie Technology is the domestic CIS leader, its 48m CIS products and Samsung, Sony and other established manufacturers can compete, in the field of image processing accumulated the first-mover advantage of hardware, laid a good foundation for its entry-level QAX8000, is intended to test the new field of automotive SOC, integrated development in the future can be expected.