Saturday, July 30, 2016

e2v Videos

e2v publishes a number of videos of its imaging division track record:

Friday, July 29, 2016

Sony, Sharp Quarterly Results

Sony quarterly report and forecast reflect Kumamoto earthquake results:

The company PR separates Semiconductors from the battery business (to be sold to Murata) and updates on its status:

"Sales decreased 22.9% year-on-year (a 14% decrease on a constant currency basis) to 144.4 billion yen (1,402 million U.S. dollars). This decrease was primarily due to a significant decrease in sales of image sensors, reflecting the impact of a decrease in image sensor production due to the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquakes, lower demand for image sensors for mobile products, and the impact of foreign exchange rates. Sales to external customers decreased 21.4% year-on-year.

Operating loss of 43.5 billion yen (423 million U.S. dollars) was recorded, compared to operating income of 32.7 billion yen recorded in the same quarter of the previous fiscal year. This significant deterioration was due to the impact of the above-mentioned decrease in sales, the 20.3 billion yen (197 million U.S. dollars) impairment charge against long-lived assets for camera modules, net charges of 13.6 billion yen (132 million U.S. dollars) for expenses resulting from the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquakes and the negative impact of foreign exchange rates. During the current quarter, there was a 8.2 billion yen negative impact from foreign exchange rate fluctuations.

The Semicondustor business updated forecast for Sony fiscal year ending on March 31, 2017: "Sales are expected to be lower than the May forecast primarily due to lower-than-expected image sensor sales reflecting the impact of foreign exchange rates, partially offset by a faster-than-expected recovery from the 2016 Kumamoto Earthquakes. Operating income is expected to be lower than the May forecast mainly due to the negative impact of foreign exchange rates, partially offset by the favorable impact of the above-mentioned recovery."

Sharp too reports its quarterly earnings showing camera module business shrink, although it retains its position as the company's second largest product group:

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Rumor: Ingenic Semiconductor "Acquires" Omnivision

Reportedly, Ingenic Semiconductor, a small public company in Beijing, is in the process of acquiring Omnivision, and, possibly, Superpix. The deal is assumed to be a reverse merger where Omnivision gets access to Shenzhen stock market under Ingenic stock code 300223.

The Omnivision deal has been reported as Ingenic Semi's official announcement at the Chinese-language EastMoney site.

Thanks to XW for the link!

Samsung Reports CIS Sales Growth

SeekingAlpha's Samsung Q2 2016 earnings call transcript has a little update on image sensor sales: "Second quarter earnings improved quarter on quarter due to ...the increased sales of high megapixel [inaudible] megapixel and above CMOS Image Sensor in China. ...In the third quarter, we expect ...the sales of CMOS Image Sensor in China market to be stay solid."

e2v Sapphire Videos

e2v publishes Youtube videos of its 1.3MP, 2MP and WVGA sensors from Sapphire family:

Xiaomi Redmi Pro Features Samsung Depth Camera

Xiaomi Redmi Pro smartphone features a dual rear camera: a 13MP Sony IMX258 is combined with an unnamed 5MP Samsung sensor "to aid depth of field recording, real-time background blur:"

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

ST Imaging Business Update

SeekingAlpha: ST reports its Q2 2016 earnings. The CEO Carlo Bozotti and other executives talk about the imaging business results:

"Let me speak briefly of our Imaging Product Division which is reported in the line others. Here, we had strong sequential increase in sales, thanks to our Time-of-Flight specialized image sensors entering multiple smartphone models, 10 new flagship smartphones in Q2 alone. Among these, we can mention that Huawei P9 Plus and Honor V8. And we continue to see a very good momentum.

And the other good opportunity is that in the imaging and particularly in our specialty image sensors with the Time-of-Flight technology, we see momentum and we are starting also new opportunities, and this is another important contributor of our sequential growth expectation.

And then comes a question on Apple cooperation rumors:


"Basically, not much questions left. But one will be interesting around your image sensor business. There were recently rumors that one of the North American smartphone OEMs is ramping a new R&D in France, a fab for camera modules and image sensors. And I was wondering if that's an option for you? I know you discontinued the camera module business, but is that an opportunity, or yeah?"

Jean-Marc Chery - COO:

"...first of all, I confirm that ST decided to discontinue the camera module, the commodity camera module, so we have no intent to come back in this camera module. So we are focusing on specialized imaging sensor and especially our Time-of-Flight technology where we see a very good traction, especially with a nice product called Ewok (???) where we have mainly Asia Pac and especially in China smartphone opportunities. And this is where we are focusing and focus a lot on that."

Another interesting question:

Janardan N. Menon - Liberum Capital Ltd.

"Just a couple of quick follow-ups from me. One is on your imaging business, the Time-of-Flight sensors. If I remember right, you've made a loss of about $80 million last year on the imaging side. I was just wondering, given the very strong growth that you've seen so far in the first half of this year and what you expect to see through the second half based on your design wins, would you be able to sort of almost eliminate that loss by the end of this year or is that going to be work in progress into next year as well?"

Carlo Bozotti - President & CEO:

"To respond to the first question, the answer is yes, and this is certainly an area where we can turnaround because we have the result of the camera modules and the commodity that was also linked to certain needs in terms of fab loading. And this now is done. So, it was a massive R&D effort. It was an important R&D effort with very limited sales. So now sales are coming and, of course, there is a very significant improvement."

13MP Panasonic Sensor in Mass Market Smartphones

Panasonic image sensors have design wins in mainstream smartphones. Chinese UMi Vienna and Super smartphones use 13MP Panasonic MN34172 sensor:

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Color Night Vision with Sony ISX017

KB ViTA publishes a PAL-format night scene video with new Sony ISX017 Starvis sensor. The video was acquired through the imagers's analog output at 1/50s exposure time, with 25mm F1.2 lens:

ISX017 has not been officially announced yet, but there is quite a lot of info about it on the Net:

Thanks to AB for the info!

Monday, July 25, 2016

e2v Capabilities

e2v publishes a Youtube video on its imaging division capabilities: