Tsinghua Electronics Department has another success! Smartphone, the leader in security CIS is listed

Smartway, a Chinese domestic CMOS image sensor chip design company, was listed on the Science and Technology Innovation Board with an issue price of 31.51 yuan per share.

Smartway's opening price was 51.01 yuan per share, an increase of more than 60%. As of the writing of the core stuff, Smartway's share price has fallen to 47.88 yuan per share, an increase of 51.95%, and the total market value is 19.1 billion yuan.

The image sensor is the soul of the camera module, which determines the imaging quality of the camera and the structure and specifications of other components. CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) image sensors are the most common and important sensors used today.

SmartVision's CMOS image sensor products are mainly used in security monitoring, machine vision, intelligent vehicle electronics, and other fields. In the terminal products of brands such as Voss.

In terms of shipment volume in 2020, SmartVision's products ranked first in the world in the field of security CMOS image sensors, and also achieved an industry-leading position in global shutter CMOS image sensors in the emerging machine vision field.

During the reporting period, Smartway's revenue grew rapidly. The revenue of each period from 2018 to the first nine months of 2021 was 325 million yuan, 679 million yuan, 1.527 billion yuan, and 2.043 billion yuan respectively.

The chairman and general manager of Smartway, Xu Chen, is the controlling shareholder and actual controller of Smartway, and the deputy general manager, Mo Yaowu, is the person acting in concert.

In this IPO, Smartway plans to raise 2.82 billion yuan, which will be used for "R&D center equipment and system construction", "Smartway (Kunshan) Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. image sensor chip testing", "CMOS image sensor chip upgrade and Industrialization” and “Supplementary Working Capital” 4 projects. It is worth noting that the financing scale corresponding to Smartway's issuance this time is only 1.261 billion yuan, a 55% decrease compared to the planned fundraising.

Smartway Fundraising Plan

Chairman Xu Chen has set an industry record and core technicians have decades of work experience

Smartway was established in March 2017 with the initial name of "Shanghai Yexin Electronic Technology Co., Ltd.", and its initial shareholders include Xu Chen, Mo Yaowu, Li Yue, Ma Weijian, Chen Bi, Xie Xiao, and Shao Zexu. Among them, Xu Chen, Mo Yaowu, and Ma Weijian are the co-founders of Smartway and the core technicians of Smartway.

In April 2019, Shanghai Yexin Electronic Technology Co., Ltd. changed its name to Smartway (Shanghai) Electronic Technology Co., Ltd.

Now Xu Chen is the chairman and general manager of Smartway, Mo Yaowu is Smartway's chief technology officer, and Ma Weijian is Smartway's chief operating officer.

Xu Chen graduated from the Department of Electronic Engineering of Tsinghua University with a bachelor's degree and obtained a doctorate degree from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. During his Ph.D. study, he participated in the design of low-power, low-voltage CMOS image sensors, and his achievements created the records of the lowest operating voltage and the highest power efficiency at that time, successfully obtained a number of US invention patents, and were recognized by many internationally renowned Included in journals and several international conferences.

After graduation, Xu Chen worked as an R&D engineer in companies such as storage giant Micron, imaging solution provider Aptina, and CMOS company OmniVision. In 2011, Xu Chen started his business for the first time and established Jiangsu Xinjia Electronic Equipment Trading Co., Ltd., mainly designing CMOS chips with an FSI (front-illuminated) structure of 1 million pixels and below. After Smartway was established in April 2017, Xu Chen was the chairman and general manager of the company.

Dr. Mo Yaowu graduated from the Shanghai Institute of Technical Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences. He was a lecturer at Shanghai University of Science and Technology (now Shanghai University) and a visiting researcher at the Osaka Prefectural Institute of Industrial Technology, Japan.

In April 2003, Mo Yaowu left academia and served as the chief engineer and senior simulation design engineer of Seiko Epson Corporation in Japan. In March 2005, he worked at the Micron Japan Image Sensor Design Center and then worked as an analog engineer and product design director for Micron, Aptina, and OmniVision. In April 2017, Mo Yaowu co-founded Smartway and is currently the Deputy General Manager and Chief Technology Officer.

Ma Weijian holds a master’s degree in circuits and systems from Zhejiang University. He has nearly 20 years of experience in chip R&D and management. He has served as the R&D and product manager of Zhuosheng Microelectronics. He has led and participated in more than ten H264 / AVS image decoding chips, CMMB mobile TV chips, DTMB ground national standard chip video SoC chips, and other chip development projects.

After Smartway was founded, Ma Weijian served as Vice President of Technology, responsible for product R&D management; today, he is the COO of Smartway, responsible for product planning, marketing, and supply chain management.

9-month revenue of 2 billion, Dahua, Dajiang, and Huawei are the main customers

During the reporting period, Smartway’s revenue grew rapidly. The revenue in each period from 2018 to the first nine months of 2021 was 325 million yuan, 679 million yuan, 1.527 billion yuan, and 2.043 billion yuan, with a compound growth rate from 2018 to 2020. is 116.90%.

With revenue growth, Smartway's net profit also increased from -242 million yuan in 2019 to 320 million yuan in the first nine months of 2021. During the reporting period, Smartway's net profit was -166 million yuan, -242 million yuan, 121 million yuan, and 320 million yuan respectively.
Changes in Smartway’s revenue and net profit from 2018 to the first nine months of 2021

During the reporting period, Smartway's R&D investment was 93.3608 million yuan, 122 million yuan, 108 million yuan, and 134 million yuan respectively, accounting for 28.76%, 18%, 7.1%, and 6.55% of the operating income respectively.

CMOS image sensors are mainly divided into the front-illuminated structures (FSI) and back-illuminated structures (BSI) according to the installation position of the photosensitive element.

The main advantages of the front-illuminated structure are that its process conditions are relatively easy to achieve and the manufacturing cost is relatively low, but its structure will limit the overall performance of the sensor. The photosensitive effect of the CMOS image sensor with the back-illuminated structure is significantly improved, but the design and process are difficult and the cost is high.

In addition, the different shutter exposure methods of CMOS image sensors, it can be divided into two categories: Rolling Shutter and Global Shutter. The rolling shutter is more suitable for long-distance shooting of still or slow-moving objects; a global shutter is the best shutter method in high-speed photography and other application scenarios. Although the noise is high, it is not suitable for car license plate recognition and drone obstacle avoidance. For applications that require real-time capture and identification, such as systems, it has become a necessary exposure method.

SmartVision's products are mainly for the fields of security monitoring, machine vision, and intelligent vehicle electronics. The products mainly include FSI-RS series products, BSI-RS series products, and GS series products.

During the reporting period, SmartVision's FSI-RS series products accounted for the highest revenue share, but with the increase in the revenue share of BSI-RS series products and GS series products, the revenue share of FSI-RS series products has increased from 87.45%. reduced to 43.16%.

Smartway’s revenue share of each business in the first nine months of 2018-2021

During the reporting period, SmartVision's top five customers included distributors such as Zhiyuan Electronics and Dingxin Infinite, as well as direct sales customers such as Dahua and Dajiang Innovation. In addition, Hikvision, Aobi Zhongguang, Huawei, etc. are also direct sales customers of Smartway.

As a chip company that adopts the Fabless (fabless) model, Smartway's procurement projects mainly include wafer and test packaging services.

Its main wafer suppliers include Dongfang Hi-Tech, TSMC, Jinghe Integration, Qingya Technology, etc., and its packaging and testing suppliers include Jingfang Technology, Huatian Technology, Keyyang Semiconductor, etc.

 Top five suppliers of Smartway

With the world's largest shipment in the field of security monitoring, it is difficult to attack the smartphone market

Today, the main suppliers of CMOS image sensor products in the world are Sony, Samsung, OmniVision, Smartway, Gekewei, and so on.

Among them, Sony, Samsung, and OmniVision are the main suppliers of image sensors in the smartphone field, while the digital camera market is dominated by Sony, while SmartVision and Sony are suppliers in the emerging machine vision field.

Relatively speaking, local CMOS image sensor manufacturers such as Smartway, Weir (OmniVision), and Gekewei generally adopt the asset-light Fabless (fabless) model, while international giants such as Sony and Samsung use IDM ( vertically integrated manufacturing) mode.

Since 2018, SmartVision's market share in the mid-to-high-end market in the field of security monitoring has expanded rapidly, and the proportion of sales of low-end products below 2 million pixels has dropped from 83.59% to 28.22%. In contrast, the revenue of 3-5 million pixel FSI mid-range products increased from 5.24% to 49.19%; 2-8 million BSI products accounted for an increase from 11.17% to 49.19%.

According to the statistics of market consulting agency Frost & Sullivan, in 2020, SmartSens CMOS image sensor shipments ranked sixth in the world.

Ranking of global CMOS image sensor manufacturers by shipments in 2020 (Image source: Frost & Sullivan)

SmartSens ranked ninth in the world in the global CMOS image sensor market share in 2020. In the field of security monitoring, SmartSens will ship 146 million units in 2020, ranking first in the world in terms of shipments.

 Sales ranking of global CMOS image sensor manufacturers in 2020 (Image source: Frost & Sullivan)

The prospectus reads: "・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・ Under high-temperature working conditions, it will maintain stable chip performance. Shooting fast-moving objects without distortion/smearing, high frame rate video shooting and other rigid requirements, has the core advantage of competing with leading CMOS image sensor manufacturers such as Sony・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・・ Its products can meet the requirements of high, medium and low-end Different market demands of the market.

As of September 30, 2021, SmartVision has 74 major invention patents, 7 software copyrights, and 32 integrated circuit layout designs.

In the field of machine vision, SmartVision's products have achieved a leading position in the fields of drones, sweeping robots, smart translation pens, face recognition equipment, smart homes, etc., and broke Sony's long-term monopoly in the field of smart transportation.

But at the same time, Sony, Samsung, and other IDM manufacturers have been deeply involved in this field for many years, accumulated rich technical reserves, and formed a number of industry-specific technical routes. In its areas of expertise, it has unique competitive advantages, and the supply chain is more stable. Smartway has certain difficulties in the market development of pre-installed onboard electronics and smartphones.

According to Frost & Sullivan data, ON Semiconductor, Sony, and OmniVision's 2020 smart vehicle CMOS image sensor shipment market shares are 54%, 29%, and 8%, respectively. These three companies have accumulated years of experience in the automotive field and have cooperated with major global automakers and Tier 1 suppliers. In the automotive electronics market, the chip certification cycle is longer and the reliability requirements are higher, and SmartVision still lacks experience.

In the smartphone market, Sony, Samsung, and OmniVision held 46%, 29%, and 10% of the market respectively. Due to consumers' high-quality and diversified demands for a smartphone shooting experience, mobile phone manufacturers have put forward more performance requirements for CMOS image sensors. sensitivity.

SmartVision still needs to continue to carry out technology research and development in the field of smartphone CMOS image sensors and gain recognition from mainstream brands.

Compared with companies in the industry such as Weir, Gekewei, and Crystal Phase Optoelectronics, Smartway's gross profit margin is slightly higher than the average level. With the increase in the proportion of mid-to-high-end products, its gross profit margin level continues to rise.

Comparison of gross profit margin between SmartVision and comparable companies in the same industry
Big Fund is the second-largest shareholder, with Dahua, Xiaomi, and Lenovo participating in the investment
The controlling shareholder and actual controller of Smartway are Xu Chen, and Mo Yaowu is the person acting in concert.

Smartway's equity is divided into Class A shares with special voting rights and ordinary Class B shares. Xu Chen directly holds 15.23% of Smartway's shares, with 47.32% of the voting rights, and Mo Yaowu directly holds 6.66% of the shares, with 4.14% of the voting rights.

During the growth of the company, Smartway has received a lot of investment from venture capital funds and industry players. The second phase of the National Fund is the second-largest shareholder of Smartway, holding 7.22% of the shares.

In addition, Dahua Technology Co., Ltd., Xiaomi Industry Fund, Lenovo Technology, Anxin Investment, Hikvision Wisdom, and Juyuan Xincheng, a subsidiary of SMIC, also participated in the investment.
Smartway's share capital

The proportion of mid-to-high-end products has risen to break the monopoly of giants. Smartway is listed or will launch into new markets

As an important player in the domestic CMOS field, SmartVision's shipment volume has reached the world's first in the field of security monitoring, and the proportion of mid-to-high-end products has increased year by year, gradually realizing domestic substitution in the low, medium and high-end markets. In the field of smart cities, Smartway has broken Sony's long-term monopoly due to its relatively advanced machine vision technology and has important industrial value.

But relatively speaking, Smartphone is still difficult to break through the industry barriers cast by international chip giants such as STMicroelectronics, ON Semiconductor, Samsung, Sony, etc. There are still gaps. With its listing on the Science and Technology Innovation Board, Smartway will benefit from financing channels and R&D funds, or it may gradually exert its efforts to open up new markets.

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