According to industry sources, Samsung plans to convert a DRAM plant into a CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) production line, thereby increasing CIS production by 20% in order to narrow the gap with Sony's CIS production capacity.
The source said that due to the expansion of the 5G smartphone, autonomous vehicles, and robot markets, the demand for CIS has increased sharply. Samsung Electronics will convert a DRAM plant into a CIS production line next year, thereby increasing CIS production by about 20%. From July to September 2020, Samsung's global market share of CIS was 21.4%, only half of Sony's 44.2%.
According to an earlier report, Yongin Park, Executive Vice President of Samsung's Photosensitive Components Business, said in a closed-door Q&A at the "Samsung Electronics Investment Forum 2020" held on November 30, "Now there are more CIS orders for 108 million pixels or more, but production capacity is limited. A DRAM plant should be converted into a CIS production line next year."
At present, Samsung's CIS monthly production capacity is about 100,000 pieces, and annual sales are 4.26 billion US dollars. If a DRAM plant is converted into a CIS production line next year, it is estimated that the monthly output will increase to 120,000 to 130,000, and the gap with Sony will be greatly reduced.
However, Sony has already spent 100 billion yen to set up a new CIS production line in Nagasaki Prefecture, Japan, which is scheduled to be completed in 2021. By then, its monthly output will increase to 138,000 pieces. In addition, Sony has set a goal earlier and plans to increase the global market share of CIS to 60% by the end of 2025.