Dongbu HiTek starts volume production of 5 megapixel CMOS image sensor chips Dongbu HiTek today announced that it has begun volume production of 5.0 Megapixel (5M) CMOS Image Sensor (CIS) devices for Superpix Micro Technology Co., Ltd., a fabless customer based in Beijing. Armed with patented SuperPix pixel signal processing and SuperImage image processing techniques, Superpix anticipates strong demand for its 5M CIS devices in China’s rapidly expanding mid-range to low-end smart phone market segments. According to Maybank, the Chinese smart phone market in the mid-range to low-end segment is forecast to grow from some 216 million units shipped this year to about 400 million units in 2015, thereby exceeding 85% growth over the two year period. In another forecast from iSuppli, smart phones that feature 5M resolution and above will substantially command this segment’s growth as they replace 2M resolution cameras, shipping 187 million units next year and 288 million units in 2015, thus representing a dramatic year-over year growth of more than 50%. “We continue to expand our foundry relationship with Superpix, and are now on track to begin developing its 8M CIS chips early next year so that volume production can also begin next year,” said Jae Song, Dongbu HiTek EVP of marketing. He noted that his company’s foundry relationship with Superpix has progressively developed from manufacturing QVGA/VGA chips to CIS chips specifying resolutions spanning the 2M–to-8M range. The Korean specialty foundry continues to manufacture an expanding portfolio of advanced chips for its Chinese customers; this portfolio currently includes CIS devices, touch-screen controllers and power management chips.