集微网消息，在往期的集微访谈栏目中，爱集微有幸采访了专注于智能手机组件技术领域的研究Jeffrey Mathews。他现属于Strategy Analytics（现属于TechInsights）高级分析师。从事图像传感器、显示面板、存储芯片和电池单元等方面研究，集微访谈就关于相机、传感器市场和自研芯片提出了一系列问题，并收到了一系列有关领域的精彩答复。
所以我认为，因为他们已经开始定制他们的图像传感器，其中一些图像传感器（如IMX 989）是由索尼和小米共同研发的。此外，还涉及到成本，IMX 989花费了两家公司1500万美元，由两家公司平摊。
答：当你定制图像传感器时，图像性能显然更高。当你看所有的索尼定制图像传感器，它们的像素尺寸本身就更大。索尼为iPhone 定制的图像传感器像素尺寸为1.22μm，比某些小于等于1.0μm像素尺寸的在市场上放开供应的图像传感器更大，所以1.22μm 尺寸是一个更大的像素。当进行合并采样时，合并后的等效像素面积自然也更大。所以当像苹果这样的客户定制图像传感器时，很明显规格参数会采用他们想要的规格。例如1/1.3” 型传感器尺寸规格，1.22μm 像素将有机会创造更好的相机体验。索尼将2×2 OCL技术应用到微透镜上，以改进自动对焦。他们还拥有比以往 HDR 技术更好的 DOL-HDR。因此，要将这些技术组合到图像传感器中需要很高的成本。
因此，所有这些因素都导致了近段时间的持续低迷，而手机市场为整个图像传感器行业贡献了超过 60% 的收入。 而这些活跃于手机市场的图像传感器供应商自然会受到手机市场下行周期的强烈影响。在此期间，智能手机品牌也会延迟新产品的推出，这一冲击也会向上游供应商传导，CIS厂商出货和营收确认都会受影响，例如豪威和格科微的库存已经在明显增长，因为他们在过去几个季度中出货一直不畅。这导致了它们的季度收入放缓，也影响了他们的市场份额。
目前三星和索尼也有大量库存，但由于消费行为的季节性，他们的目标是在 2023 年上半年之前去库存。目前对CMOS图像传感器厂商来说，最大的挑战就是应对库存积压，而且市场环境对厂商经营业绩也可能产生不利的影响，如果它影响经营业绩, 有一种情况就是定价条件恶化，就像我们在内存市场看到的那样, 会有价格战和竞争性降价，这也会影响收入和利润率。
答：当然，我认为从整体市场来看，图像传感器供应商已经为客户提供了这种3D ToF（飞行时间）图像传感器。这一趋势始于2018年，一些荣耀智能手机采用了它。索尼还将IMX 316和IMX518图像传感器引入市场，用于 ToF 深度传感。但实际情况是，没有用例来定义这些传感器在终端消费者市场中的用途。苹果有一个用例，是为LiDAR（激光雷达）传感器开发的。所以 LiDAR 可用于深度测量，可用于三维房间扫描，还支持深度测绘功能，用于测量物体的某些方面。因此，苹果有一个用例，它是为了配合这种传感器的重要性而创建的。这也是苹果区别于其他OEM的一个关键领域。这就是为什么索尼向苹果提供为ToF和LiDAR应用设计的IMX590来让苹果实现这一用途。显然，这是一个机会，因为人们需要从相机所看到的东西中获取越来越多的信息。这些原始信息也需要转化为客户可用的信息。因此，我认为图像传感器供应商和客户都必须共同努力，确定深度和激光雷达传感器的用例。
例如，就像你指出的IMAX 709 使用 RGBW 阵列。RGB（W） 滤色器阵列需要转换为RGGB滤色器阵列。这些处理管道必须在ISP中完成。因此，我认为其他一些平台无法按照预期的方式实现这一目标。
所以这就是我认为原始设备制造商想要提升其定位卖点的原因手段之一，不仅仅是他们的ISP，还有摄像头相机的功能。这就是为什么这三件事，ISP、图像传感器，以及它所支持的平台必须齐头并进。我认为IMAX 866也是另一个产品，它也有rgbw滤色器。它也按照vivo的V1和V2 ISP进行调整。如果没有这些ISP，图像传感器该中心就无法真正实现其研发创建时所要实现的潜在性能。这就是我对这个问题的看法。
与此同时，在主摄之外，索尼也开始进攻多相机手机的其他业务机会——如成为超广角副摄的主要供应商，并更积极地与领先OEM合作开发定制摄像头，所有这些努力都是为了实现 60% 的市场份额目标。 目前正如我们看到的，索尼正在稳健地向其目标迈进。
所以这两个关键领域是图像传感器供应商可以关注的地方，因为超过 50MP 像素数量，具有大光学格式和大像素尺寸的图像传感器是供应商要抓住的重要机会。
答：移动图像传感器市场是图像传感器市场营收的最大贡献者之一。移动图像传感器占了整个全球图像传感器市场超过60%的市场份额。同时移动图像传感器市场的机会也在持续增长，因为越来越多的供应商希望通过极佳的相机性能差异化自己的手机产品，这包括参数和应用方面。例如，中国智能手机供应商选择定制图像传感器以使其提供更好的相机性能。中国的智能手机供应商和其他 OEM 也需要更高分辨率，更大像素的图像传感器产品。当你看整体市场，移动图像传感器的商机，让图像传感器供应商能够通过提供旗下的重点产品，来满足市场需求以及提升营收。我认为这就是移动图像传感器市场对图像传感器供应商以及 OEM如此重要的原因之一。
我认为在两个细分市场之间会有差异，索尼显然会专注于这两个市场。例如，它们未来发布的IMX890将面向高端和中端手机市场。而 IMX989 则将专精于注重相机体验本身超旗舰产品。
现在该供应商已经向市场推出了一款新产品，我认为，在中端市场提供产品的关键供应商之一是豪威科技。豪威科技的OV50A最早出现在moto edge X30系列上，然后也用于拯救者系列。很明显，客户需要更好的体验。例如，50MP的体验应该更好，但在一定的成本下，原始设备制造商不愿意为索尼和三星的其他一些50MP产品支付高昂的溢价。
Q：So my first question is about the custom image sensors. We know that companies like apples and samsung prefer to use their custom image sensors. But in the past, the chinese mobile phone manufacturers often choose some more general image sensors, for example, in 39th most flagship mobile phone from chinese manufacturers are using imax 586 for in camera. But in recent years, we have found that more and more chinese mobile phone manufacturers chose to customize or core engineers. Based on what's the mobile phone manufacturer cs manufacturers say, in my senses, for example, that something else I supplied hmx hpx gn two for xiao mi, and the gn one for vivo. Sony supplied the imax 800 for honor, imax 866 for vivo, imax 99 for xiao mi, et cetera. Yeah, why do chinese mobile phone manufacturers change their mind and choose to custom their image sensors?
A：Great question, I think this is because china mobile phone vendors want to position their smartphones, be it in terms of specification, quality and also in terms of camera performance. Because they want to keep their smartphones in the same breath as that of the US and korean customer products.
And over the years, what we have seen is that apart from huawei, who also had to customize their image sensors with sony, most of the other brands, the camera capabilities of those china mobile phone manufacturers have been a key hindrance for them to achieve a strong position in the premium market. So t hey have dominated the volume market and even in the mid market. But when you look at the high end of the premium market, there is this gap for them to achieve that feature. To overcome this thing, these manufacturers are partnering with image sensor of vendors to customize in terms of the specification and also the performance of the image sensors. But over the period of time, now, when you look at the smartphone cameras of these mobile phone vendors, there's marginal difference between the qualities of images that you see from the other US and the korean customer products also.
So I think because they've went forward with customizing their image sensors, some of the image sensors like the 989, which was developed by sony and xiao mi together. There is also cost involved and 989 costed both the companies $15 million that was equally shared by the two companies.
So in this process, what is happening is that image sensor vendors, I've supplying custom image sensors to these oems, and these oems have an exclusivity to these image sensors, and they leverage this exclusivity in terms of their camera performance, and they gain a competitive advantage in the long run.So I believe customizing image sensors gives them a competitive advantage in terms of getting image sensors at a high performance and also exclusive to their own brands, so that the competition does not have any opportunity to get them.
Q: You have already mentioned the exclusive image sensors can let the smartphone is more competitive than to the competitors. So, but it's more expensive, right? You need to afford the development cost. So for the mobile phone manufacturer, what are the advantage and the disadvantage of the custom image sensors? Can you tell us more because I have already found the imax 803 or something like that, the iphone 14 pro. Apple have developed a unique pdaf, apple always use the mask pdaf so they customize the face detection module of the image sensors.
A:When you customize an image sensor, there is obviously a better output in terms of the image performance. When you look at all the sony custom image sensors, they are having a larger detailing in terms of the pixel size itself is larger. Sony and iphone image sensor that they supplied as a 1. 22 micron that is higher than some of the image sensors like the 1.01 less than that is what is being supplied to the market.
So the 1. 22 micron is a bigger pixel. So the pixel size is also larger. So when you customize image sensors, there's obviously specifications that when does like apple want and specifications such what? 1 or 1.3 sensor size, 1. 22 micron is going to create an opportunity for better camera experience. Sony is also having to cross to ocl onto lens technology for improved autofocus. And they also have the better aged year technology that do dol technology. So that is being combined into the image sensors at a very high cost.
Overall, the experience within the image sensor becomes better and the performance increases are strongly if you compare image sensors from 2 to 3 years down the line to what we witness right now, there is a big difference in terms of the camera output itself. We get more details that the focus is very fast. The bouquet is better. The color dynamic is very good. The saturation level is also high. In terms of low light performance, there is more light that the sensor can take because of the optical format. So overall, the experience with respect to camera is very good when you customize image sensor.
Q: What is causing the image sensor market to shrink? At the same time, what impact will it have on image sensor companies?
A：The market.is seeing a downturn yes at this point of time and that's just my majorly driven by you know unfavorable market conditions. And there is weakness in the market in terms of outs on demand. There is also continued inflationary environment and or there is oversupply of low picks and mobile cs products.
So all these factors are causing the downturn to you know persist in the moment of time. And a mobile market contributes more than 60% in revenue to the overall image sensor industry. And those vendors that actively participate in the mobile market um are strongly impacted by the downturn. And During such a period, the smartphone williams also delay you know the new product introductions which then impacts the pipeline for in a sense of vendors. Also I like in terms of supplying those sensors and the revenue realization also gets affected. Vendors such as uh you know only vision and galaxy code have uh have seen the their inventories to continue to grow and peak, because they have been unable to sell their inventory or or smoothly in over the over the last few quarters. And this has impacted their quarterly rvenues and also affected the market share decline also for them.
And now both samsung and sony also have a significant inventory, but um because of the seasonality of the customer was they aim to reduce it by the first half of 2023, uhthe biggest sort of impact would be the increase in inventory for remain censored companies. andIt will have an adverse impact on the operating performance and also uh if it impacts the operating performance, there is a situation where in the pricing conditions worsen um like like like how we see in the memory market, there will be price wars and pricing progressed willfall, uhwhich impacts the revenues and the profit margin also.
Q：Yeah, and I have read your articles and I found that some new opportunity about the depth sensors, such as the lighter of the iphones, or the top sensors for other smartphones. Is that is a new opportunities instead of the the telephone cameras?
A：Absolutely, I think when you look at the overall market, the image sensor vendors have offered this 3D time of flight image sensors for customers. The trend started in 2018 with some of the Honor smartphones adopting it. The Huawei smartphones adopted infinite are time of flight sensors. Sony also introduce IMAX 316 and 518 image sensors into the market for time of flight depth sensing. But what happened is that there was no use cases to define the use of these sensors into the end consumer market. Apple had a use case, a developed for these lidar sensors. So they had depth measurements. They had 3D room scanning. They had depth mapping, which was introduced for measuring certain aspects of objects.
So Apple had a use case that was created to match the use of why this sensor is important. And that is one key area where in Apple differentiated from other oems also. And that is where Sony delivered to that use case by supplying the IMAX 590 time of flight and lighter application for Apple. So there is opportunity, obviously, because there is a need for more and more information from what a camera sees. And those informations need to be translated into actionable insights for customers also. So I think both image sensor vendors and also customers have to work together to identify the use cases for depth and lidar sensors.
And then only I think the number of cameras in a smartphone is restricted to 3 ~ 4 at the moment of time. When you look at how some of the sensors like the macro camera depth sensors are, these sensors have slowly, it's started to see that there is very less actionable or valuable benefit associated with these sensors.
I believe OEM should adopt 3D lidar sensors and time of flight sensors to create a more beneficial environment for end users, and also to make the camera experiences much more better.
Q: For mobile phone manufacturers, What are the challenges of custom image sensors?
A：I believe there are disadvantages, but I think oems can overcome those things. Some of the disadvantaged could be working with the isps. That's why some of the oems develop their own isps, like the vivo and oppo, have developed their own isps, because they want to tune those image sensors for those specific isps.
nd one of the challenge could be how it valides with different platforms, like the processor platforms of qualcomm, mediatech, and other vendors, and so will it gave the full potential when it is applied to a different processor platform? And I think that there is some challenge which would involve cost and also time for vendors to figure that out.
Q:Why do chip manufacturers also cooperate with image sensors manufacturers?
A：I think chip manufacturers are just qualcomm and other platform vendors. When the image sensor vendor is about differentiating their products and also further creating a value proposition for its own platform products, and such that it delivers the full potential of the mid sensors and provide a better camera experience for customers.
So for example, if an image sensor is tuned to a specific platform, there is better output instill and video recordings. For example, the hp three from samsung when is currently being tuned to the snapdragon agent to pro platform. So it will obviously support a full native resolution of 200 mega pixels with zero shuttle lag. And also regarding could go up to 88 k resolution at 30 frames of per second. So achieving the sensors full potential is what these partnerships could provide to customers like smartphone customers. When smartphone oem see the benefits that are associated with these processor platforms, this leads to demand opportunities for chip manufacturers to supply these platforms. And then what happens is that these sort of creates an opportunity for image sensors to further supply their key products.
For example, the imx 989 and hp three, which was violated for the snapdragon platforms, can be supplied further because these two going hand in hand, if there is demand for a specific platforms and there is image sensors that are violated to perform in the full potential for these specific platforms, the supply of both the products could increase. I think that is the relationship between the two.
Q：In the future, will the custom function of matching ISP‘s features be called a new trend of image sensor customization?
A：So when you look at image sensors which are customized to sort a nice piece, I think there is a lot of back and forth which goes from customers and also image sensor vendors. For example, if there is an image sensor, we just launched from some of the image sensor vendors. It has to get violated across various platforms, beat in terms of processor platforms, because process platforms that also have their own isps. And sometimes those isps cannot fulfill the potential of what those image sensors were intended to do. So that could be one of the reasons why oems want to create their own isps and let the isp focus on certain aspects of delivering key aspects of those image sensors.
For example, like you pointed out at 709 has an rgpw for color filter. And rgb color filters need to be converted to the rggb color filters. And those processing pipeline has to be done in the isp itself. So I believe some of the other platforms are not able to do it in the way that it is intended to do.
So that is the one of the reasons I believe oems want to position, not just their isps, but also that camera capabilities also. And that is why these three things, the isp, the image sensors, and also the platform that it is supporting has to go hand in hand. Without these isps, the center is not really deliver those potential performance that it was created to do. So that's what I think in this question.
Q: Why is Sony so eager to expand its market share?
A：you so When you look at the overall images industry, sony has been a key innovator and driver of image sensor technology. And sony his name is synonymous with you know they made sensor itself and the vendor has continued to remain the leader in terms of market share over the last few years. But what has happened is that with those you know with recently with the loss of you know huawei business and the competition rising uh and eating up the market share, uhsunnis market share has dropped um over the last few years.
And the vendor has now countered this by setting a goal to achieve 60% market share.
Now what it has done to do that is um sony has made a significant stride you know in terms of uh the production, the technology and also the aggressive market penetration of the。 of。 market penetration also what for example, the sony has uh drivingsony is driving the supply chain of apple iphones uh supplying new image sensors to each and every iphones that is launched every year and the other aggressive um you know strategies to you know reduce the pricing of its high end sensors such as the imx uh766 to compete in the volume segment.
And the vendor is also now attacking the multi camera segment where the vendor supplied sensors for the ultra wide application of major vendors. And the further the vendors now partnering extensively partnering with leading oe ms by supplying customize image sensors, reflections, smartphones. So all these activities and all these efforts are being targeted to achieve their goal of 60% market share. And currently we are seeing them to be as we are seeing them to uh witness a strong path for achieving its goal.
Q: Okay. Of I we have already talking about the sony. So for other image sensor manufacturers, how should they deal with the double attack of the mark market downturn? And the sony aggressive market strategy? Because that's the market is getting smaller, but sony want to expand their have an adventure, expand plan. So what they should they deal with these situations.
A：So it's very evident from the quarterly results that we have the market. The image and the market was primarily driven by sony. Almost when you look at the overall quarterly, aq three market, I made sense of market for smartphones. Sony had the biggest share. It cross 50 % market share, and it's all dependent on their aggressive strategy that is making the competition beaker. But it's only in the short term, we believe the inventory pileup and the weak demand among smartphone customers is also doing no good for other images and surrenders.
And if you look at the market going forward, there is kind of currently there are pockets of opportunity for it made sense of vendors, especially demand for image sensors, for ultra wide applications and image sensors for premium smartphone.
So these two key areas is where image sensor vendors could focus upon, because the demand for 50 map pixel plus image sensors, having a large optical format and a large pixel size is a key opportunity for vendors to act upon.
When you look at the opportunity for vendors to provide a high resolution image sensors for multi camera applications, I think these vendors have to introduce new products, offer better pricing to customers.
Q: Why Sony's small pixel technology lags behind competitors?
A: I cannot comment from a technical perspective on why in terms of technology, it is lagging behind the other competition. But I think it is also something to do with the market focus. Sony has been of company that has been heavily focused on revenue specifically and not so much on volumes over the past few years. That is one of the reasons why they have been not focusing on shrinking pixels. And possibly the reason why they have not introduced the 100 mega pixel image sensor products. These products like the 100 mega pixel image sensor products have now been shipped to the volume market to the smartphones. And Sony has been obviously targeting the premium in the high end market. And I think for that market, they have been introducing new products which is having a higher resolution. 48 mega pixel, 50 mega pixels are with bigger pixel size, like 1. 0 micron, 1. 2 micron, and providing a bigger optical format, like 1 inch , 1 / 1. 3 inch, and 1 / 1. 5 inch.
So their focus has been on providing bigger resolution and a bigger specification overall, because the company has been focused on how much more can we charge in terms of bring the best quality in terms of images. Pixel shrinking has its own advantages, and Sony has been less focused on delivering those advantages to customers. The last I think you rightly mentioned that it was IMAX 586, which was launched at 0 . 8 micron. And there was IMAX 686 also at 0. 8 micron 64 mega pixels. And recently the 0. 7 micron imax 558 was also launched in the market by Sony.
So I think Sony is slowly moving into a bracket of shrinking pixels, maybe, because they see an opportunity for targeting the multi camera applications. For the main rear wide camera, I think Sony is focusing on bigger pixels and bigger sensor sites. But when it comes to the multi camera applications, Sony has started to realize that there is opportunity to supply high resolution and also a small pixel size, because the main sensor itself is a large sensor and supplying high resolution in a smaller format involves shrinking pixels also.
I think that is one route that they will be going forward, especially when you see it in the market. Today, the 758 is targeting telephone applications and and that is one key area that Sony will venture into going forward.
Q: Why does Sony choose an image sensor with a slightly larger pixel size as the entry point for high-end image sensors when other competitors are pursuing ultra-high-resolution image sensors with small pixels?
A: I think it it is how both these companies are you know sort of taking their market forward. I think if you look at what these companies are once focused, for example, samsung focuses on specification uh which is providing resolution because at the end they they are trying to see the market and the demand from the market. I believe the market wanted resolution as its priority. uhThat is one of the reasons why you know vendors like samsung and on division uh venture into the market and seeing that there is demand for high resolution products, they prove they introduce the 200 map pixel, a hundred map pixel products, um60 map pixel products, so all these products were targeted to those market demands at the point of time.
andNow china smartphone vendors have heavily you know marketed these specifications toward the end consumer. andThat is one of the reasons why the demand um for you know high resolution continue to grow. uhWhereas on sony, what they've done is they have you know seen that the market wants uh a better smartphone camera experiences and not so much on the resolution side, but uh in terms of uh the quality, the hdr and also focused on you know low light imaging, sosony has ventured into the you know the direction wherein they want to increase the pixel size and also put it in a in a highly you know large pixel, uha large optical format.
I think both these uh uh companies have different you know approaches to the market. Sony is approaches on the high end premium market where the focus is on the better camera experiences, better for the quality, low light imaging should be better. umThe color dynamic the hdr should be very good. So bear as on simpsons uh products, they want to focus on delivering the best resolutions and the best specification to the end customers. uhSo I think it's two different approaches, uhbut possibly you know the market is saturating in terms of you know resolution specification and and especially when you look at the premium and the high end market, the focus is shifting towards the quality of the image sensor and the pictures that come out from the image sensor rather rather than the resolution.
Q: Why is the mobile image sensor market so important?
A: So mobile image sensors, the key a is one of the biggest contributors to revenue, so they make up over 60 % of the market share for the total image sensor market. And the opportunity continues to grow as more and more vendors. They want to differentiate their smartphones with incredible camera performance. And this could be in terms of specification or even application. For example, the china smartphone vendors customizing their image sensors to lead it to deliver better camera performance. China's smartphone vendors and other OEMs are also in demand for higher resolution. A bigger pixel products also. So they're also, I think when you look at the overall market, the opportunity allows the inmage sense of vendors to offer the key products and meet this demand from the market and expand the revenue streams for them. I think that is one of the reasons why mobile limits and some market is so important for OEM also.
Q: What do you think of Sony Semiconductor’s statement that the photo quality of mobile phones in the future will reach the level of interchangeable lens cameras?
A: I think it believes that sony is already working on products that are touching the quality of the dsl dsdsl camera products.
So is especially when you look at the product like the imx seven us, 989, which was launched. It has a one in sensor and almost competes for dsl in terms of photo quality.
The overall atmosphere with respect to how the pictures come up is very reminiscent of of what you see on DSLR in terms of bokeh in terms of the focus.
So sony is, I think it's more closer to achieving that than any other vendor.
But having said that, when you look at smartphones themselves achieving a 1 inch or a high frame, optical image sensor is very difficult in the long run because these are components to the overall camera supply chain, which will be a larger sensor, will have a larger lens, will have a larger components involved to sustain that mega sensor also.
So especially in the smartphones bearing weight and all those other aspects of premium nurse. And also, the usability of the smartphone is heavily focused upon putting a large sensor would also add a lot of weight components to it. Especially with 5G also, there is less pcb area to fulfill for vendors. So I think I believe vendors will differentiate in different differentiate their products in a way where in for consumers who want the best camera experiences would have a different option, but that would be a highly premium ultra flagship product. Whereas consumers who want to have a best camera experiences would have a different product.
So I think a sony will be focused on that market wherein it will be ultra flagship. A camera focus experience to produce those 1 inch and deal slot level camera products. I think there will be differentiation between the two segments where in sony obviously would focus on both the segments. For example, they will be launching the imax 890 that will compete with the high end and the mid segment also going forward. Whereas imax 989 would be strictly focused on the ultra flagship day. Smartphones just focused on camera experience itself.
I think it is achievable for sony to deliver the dsl level experiences, but for smartphone us, market as a whole, that experience will be limited to a certain tear itself.
Q: Why are more and more Chinese image sensor suppliers making efforts in the high-end mobile image sensor market?
A: I think these vendors, what they've done is they have attacked the volume market. First. The volume market was driven by the macro cameras, the ultra wide cameras. they have gained a reputation and also as a key supplier for these certain applications. And only vision has been one of the key vendors that supplied ultra wide and macro cameras. I think most of their shipments are driven by these applications itself, and now observation has gained a reputation in terms of being one of the key vendors in the market for supplying ultra wide and macro cameras.
Now the vendor has introduced a new products into the market, the OB50 which was launched the end of last year. I think one of the keyware vendors to do that and offer its products in the mid end segment is visions . So many visions OB58 was introduced for the motor x30, and some of the region series also use that. So there is obviously demand from customers to have a better experience. For example, the 50 mega pixel experience should be better, but at a certain cost, oems were reluctant to pay a high premium for some of the other 50 mega pixel products from Sony and Samsung.
So that is one key opportunity to bear only vision and smart is trying to attack offering high resolution with better specifications like the 50 mgea pixel, 1 / 1 .55 instances size, a one micron pixel size, but at a better costing compared to the competition of Sony and Samsung. So that is one reason why vendors like vision are venturing into high resolution, 50 mega pixel products.
And there is also, obviously a revenue associated with these segment is also very high. Whatever you associated with the other volume segment is not very high for when does the sustain in the long run. If they want to achieve higher revenue, they have to attack these segments of 50 mega pixel where Sony and Samsung have a competitive advantage. So oems demand more and more competitive pricing for some of these products.
I believe that is the opportunity that they have started to see and attacking that opportunity. Smart sense at this point of time, they have supplied to the real me smartphones. So I believe smart sense is also slowly gearing up with the supply of high resolution products.
Q: What is the outlook of the image sensor market in 2023?
A: so just to add the overall image sensor market, it's currently when you look at Q3, as overall the market has declined in terms of shipments. It's the volume shipment declined by more than 10 %, but the revenue was driven by Sony’s key designer Apple, revenues increased more than 5 %, but overall picture of the image sensor market is here, I think we will see a decline in revenues are closer to 5 % this year. Volumes will continue decline. Heading into 2023 is where I think the inventory pileup should are cleared. And most and more of the oems are focusing on the previous market. And that is the opportunity that exists for image sensor vendors also heading into 2023.
Q: Why does Sony chose to cooperate with tsmc to build the JASM？
A: When you look at overall semiconductor foundry market, tsmc is obviously the leader in the industry and is also a long term supplier of chips to Sony. And Sony is one of the top ten customers of tsmc and overall, when you look at how Sony and tsmc has collaborated, there is obviously a longstanding supply relationship between the two companies. Tsmc supplies chips to Sony, Sony has a big role in terms of how it supplies the overall smartphone market in terms of image sensors.
So I think there is a strong relationship firstly between the two companies. Other than that, tsmc has continued to invest in Japan through its own subsidiary and design centers and also partner with Japanese vendors for advanced packaging technology.
Tsmc is obviously having a strong connect with the Japanese market overall, and especially with the government focusing on reinventing their chip design and research. The government itself is supporting this initiative in terms of funding and subsidies also. So overall, the picture with tsmc and Japan government is also positive. The final point is Sony would be a major customer for the JASM venture. So providing them exclusive access to supply of chips is a positive move for both, Sony and JASM also. So JASM gets revenue from Sony, Sony gets a supply of chips in the long run. There's obviously a very big allocation for Sony. I think overall, these few points makes this cooperation to be one of the positive corporations and could be a longstanding relationship between the two companies.
Obviously, tsmc has been a leader when you look at overall advanced process nodes. It's supplying almost all processor vendors with below 7 to 9 nanometer technology.
So given those credentials of tsmc and its expertise and chip design, wafer manufacturing, Sony has the only option of partnering with tsmc, for instance, if Sony develops this technology on its own, it's going to cost them a lot in terms of chip research and processor equipments also. So I believe this is a partnership that is going both the ways for both. Tsmc it's supposed to partnership for Sony has also a good access to advanced process nodes. So I think there is positive and also a bigger picture associated with this partnership, rather than in the short term.