Back-side illumination (BSI) enables the iPhone 4's superior video and still camera images, prompting the other smartphone makers to follow suit. Look for skyrocketing sales at OmniVision--who supplies the iPhone BSI imager--as well as at other vendors playing BSI catch-up ball, including Sony, over the next three years. RColinJohnson @NextGenLog
iSuppli’s image sensor forecast from 2009 to the end of the forecast period in 2014.
Here is what iSuppli says about BSI: Backside Illumination (BSI) sensors—the sort used in the mobile camera of Apple Inc.’s iPhone 4—are leading the charge in a newly resurgent market for image sensors in general, and other handset manufacturers are likely to follow Apple’s bold move to boost image-capture possibilities in smart phones, according to market research firm iSuppli Corp. Shipments of BSI sensors for mid- to high-end smart handsets are projected to reach 33.4 million units in 2010, up from virtually nil last year. The market will continue to post sizable increases during the next four years and rise almost tenfold to over 300 million units by 2014, consumer electronics research from iSuppli indicates.
Back-side illumination (BSI) eliminates the need for light to penetrate deeply into chips like front-side illuminations requires
The startling growth of BSI sensors is completely in line with the robust, double-digit expansion projected this year for the overall area image sensor market as it recovers from the economic downturn and also penetrate new applications. Area image sensor shipments in 2010 will hit 1.7 billion units, up 20 percent from 1.4 billion units in 2009, with revenue during the same period climbing to $6.9 billion, up from $5.9 billion...iPhone 4 employs a 1.75-micron-pixel sensor that improves light absorption, resulting in better image quality in low-light conditions. The bigger pixel size, compared to traditional Frontside Illumination (FSI) sensors, is also ideal for high-definition video recording...By 2014, approximately 75 percent of mid- to higher-end smart phones will include BSI sensors—a huge leap from the 14 percent projected for the end of this year...
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