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Analysts and Component Suppliers Forecast Strong Growth of Smartphone OIS

Monday, March 3rd 2014

The Mobile World Conference in Barcelona this year saw many announcements and product releases. However, respected online analyst Electronics 360 chose to focus on the impact of novel sensors on the smartphone market - in particular gyroscopes for Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS). Below are some extracts from the article.

"OIS removes hand jitter and improves picture and video image quality in smartphone cameras", said Ali Foughi, (gyroscope vendor) InvenSense's vice president of marketing and business development. "A sensor-based OIS solution will bring the digital SLR, still camera experience to mobile devices. OIS for mobile phones is ramping, and we see it as a significant growth area," Foughi said.

"Besides offering better picture quality, OIS may jumpstart consumer interest in the mature medium to high-end smart phone categories, segments that have seen recent sales slowing down as lower-end phones come to market with improved functionality", noted Marwan Boustany, senior analyst for MEMS and sensors in mobile and consumer technology, at IHS. "Until manufacturing processes mature to handle large volumes, we won't see this take off in a big way." Boustany said.

Throughout 2013, OIS handsets were steadily released by several brands and established this feature as a major trend for smartphones. Penetration reached around 5% however it is widely recognised that the capability of the OIS camera supply chain has limited its addition to models with relatively modest shipment volumes.

CML anticipated this scenario and expected the supply inertia of the classical voice coil motor products to limit the rate of OIS adoption. As such, its own OIS products are designed for ease of high volume manufacture - both of the lens motor and integrated camera module. CML is working with selected actuator and camera manufacturing partners with an exemplary track record of high volume, high yield production.

The key selection criteria for manufacturing partners specifically required highly automated production equipment that provides quality stability and high volume capacity, thus avoiding the performance variation and volume ramp inflexibility inherent in using manual processes and production lines.

Production of CML's OIS actuators and cameras has begun for initial programs, with capacity plans in place to deal with volumes of even the highest selling handset models.

The original Electronics 360 article can be found here.