The semiconductor market for digital still cameras
is expected to exceed $1 billion by the 2002, according to a market study
by In-Stat, a market research firm in Scottdale, Ariz.
The total value of digital still cameras is expected to reach $5.7 billion in
2002, according to In-Stat. "While 1997 digital still camera
shipments more than doubled over 1996, the biggest growth opportunity
still lies ahead," said Mark Kirstein, director of research for Converging
Markets & Technologies Group at In-Stat. "Diverse competitors, ranging
from traditional camera manufacturers and consumer electronics
manufacturers to PC peripheral manufactures, are battling to define the
future of digital imaging. The already significant price reductions of 30 percent per
year will accelerate, while digital-image resolutions soar to new levels."
Competition between semiconductor suppliers and their various
technologies for digital cameras will continue to intensify in the next several
years, he said. "There are battles on nearly every technology front: CCDs
vs. CMOS sensors, CompactFlash vs. SmartMedia vs. Miniature Card vs.
mechanical drives, software-based architectures vs. hard-wired solutions,"
Kirstein noted. "Alternative integration paths are already emerging. It's a
nearly ideal opportunity for embedded DRAM and logic."