Seoul: Samsung Electronics Co. is seeking to narrow its gap with Japanese rival Sony Corp. in the global image sensor market, industry watchers said on Thursday, as the segment is set to post sharp growth down the road on rising demand from smartphones and security solutions.
Industry tracker IC Insights estimated the annual sales of a complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor at $13.7 billion in 2018 -- up 10 per cent from a year earlier.
The figure is anticipated to reach a whopping $19 billion in 2022, Yonhap news agency reported.
"CMOS designs keep improving for a variety of light levels, high-speed imaging and greater resolution as well as integrating more functions for specific applications, such as security video cameras, machine vision in robots and cars, human recognition, hand-gesture interfaces, virtual-augmented reality, and medical systems," IC Insights was quoted as saying.
"In new smartphones, CMOS image sensors are also seeing a new wave of growth with the increase of dual-lens camera systems for enhanced photography," the tracker added.
Sony and Samsung currently lead the global market for CMOS image sensors, with the Japanese rival holding a slight edge.
In 2016, Sony and Samsung took up 25.6 per cent and 22.6 per cent of the market, respectively.
The two companies held 28.3 per cent and 25.4 per cent, respectively, last year.
SK hynix Inc., Samsung's another South Korean rival, accounted for roughly eight to nine per cent over the cited period.
Industry watchers, however, claimed that Sony takes up 50 per cent of the market in terms of sales, hovering far above Samsung's 20 per cent.
Samsung launched its image sensor brand named ISOCELL in June last year, in an apparent bid to catch up to Sony's Exmor products.