Sony began developing CMOS image sensors in 1996, and in 2000 the first Sony IMX001 commercial sensor was released. More than twenty years have passed and the Japanese company controls 46% of the image sensor market, achieving impressive results over time.
Its sensors are easily purchased and installed in smartphones. For example, the famous Sony IMX766 is currently adopted by more than 100 models in the market. Remember that the optical format of this sensor is 1/1.56″ and the size of each pixel is 1.00 microns. The larger the sensor and pixel size, the more light it can capture.
Last year, sony introduced the Xperia PRO-I smartphone, which featured an inch sensor with phase detection autofocus. Admittedly, it turned out later that this sensor was more marketing than practical. It turned out that its potential is used only 60%. The company makes no secret of this, emphasizing on its website that the percentage of area actually used is only 60% of the total area.
Sony is working on the largest image sensor
Now Sony is working and testing a new sensor, the largest in the industry. Its resolution will be 50 megapixels with an optical format of 1/1.1 inches. It is possible that we are talking about the mysterious Sony IMX8XX sensor, information about which has already appeared on the network. Rumor has it that we’ll see a new sensor in future flagships from Xiaomi, Huawei and Vivo.
Strategy Analytics has published the results of a study of the global smartphone camera image sensor market. There is indeed a strong demand in the industry for high resolution sensors and multi-module camera systems.
In 2021, the market volume in monetary terms is estimated to have reached $15.1 billion, which is about 3% higher than the result of 2020. Moreover, in the last quarter of last year, the growth is is higher than 10%.
Sony is the largest supplier of image sensors for mobile cameras. Last year, this company occupied almost half of the global market – 45% in monetary terms.
Samsung is in second place with a share of around 26%. Rounding out the top three, OmniVision controls 11% of the industry. Thus, the first three suppliers occupy 82 to 83% of the market. All other players collectively control only 17% of the industry in monetary terms.
Analysts predict that large format and high resolution sensors will be the major market drivers for the foreseeable future. However, we will find out more about this in the coming months.