Investment Value of Newsight Imaging — vision sensing technology in healthcare and smart city!

Newsight Imaging develops advanced CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) image sensor chips for 3D machine vision and spectral analysis. They specialise in both short range and long range LiDAR applications for autonomous vehicles. They provide CMOS sensor solutions for robotic applications, sensor-based chips for barcode scanner devices and custom designed sensors for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). They also produce spectrometer-on-chip technology for spectral analysis.

The company leverages AI to provide benefits of machine learning to users, allowing more flexible solutions for special application needs. The management team will continue to explore new applications and develop more exciting high tech products in the future.

The mission of Newsight is to become a global market leader in sensing solutions for machine vision and spectral analysis applications. They aim to apply their expertise in chip design to create the most advanced 3D and spectral sensor on the market at an affordable price.

The 2021 growth rate of Automotive LiDAR sensors market is projected to be 26.6% YoY, recording the highest revenue to reach USD 759 million with a forecasted CAGR of 28% during 2021 to 2024 (Source: the Study Report by 360 Market Updates). The global Automotive LiDAR market is expected to be valued at USD 14 billion and global shipment is expected to reach 24 million units per annual by the year 2030 according to MarketWatch.

Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) is the prime driver of the global automotive LiDAR sensor market growth for the next few years. Manufacturers are trying to reduce the size and cost of their sensors in order to install them at the front of the vehicles by 2025. However, further development is still required to make the autonomous car error-free before fully commercialization.

Newsight’s 3D technology can be fully integrated into the automotives. Their LiDAR sensors are used in the ADAS Safety system and Adaptive front light system. Their patented eTOF technology can measure distance even in the dark and mobility conditions. A leading lighting system manufacturer, ZKW, has cooperated with Newsight to create an Adaptive Front-lighting System (AFS) which can detect passing vehicles in 3D and then turning headlights horizontally, vertically or off.

Their Laser sensor has many advantages for automotive LiDAR, such as high pixel sensitivity, great dynamic range, low power, high frame rate, ease of interface, reduced noise and immunity to unwanted ambient light. Its high resolution and high speed performance are suitable to adopt into the brake assist system for decision making with zero latency in response. Their affordable image sensors are applied in the blind spot monitoring, the analytical side mirror and the driver eye tracking for fatigue detection.

The LiDAR for automotive Market is dominated by a few globally established players such as Delphi Automotive (U.K.), Continental (Germany), ZF Friedrichshafen (Germany), Infineon Technologies (Germany), First Sensor (Germany), Velodyne LiDAR (U.S.), Texas Instruments (U.S.), Quanergy Systems (U.S.), LeddarTech (Canada), and Innoviz Technologies (Israel).

The consumer electronics segment has accounted for the largest share of the global CMOS image sensor market for years, especially in the video applications of mobile devices as well as digital cameras. As the technology improves, CMOS sensors are delivering advanced image processing functions at high resolutions, such as 4K video and high quality surveillance video. In addition, leading smartphone companies have been enhancing the photography functions in their products, making smartphones with up to 5 cameras in a single device. The demand for image sensors soars significantly in recent years.

Newsight will launch a new image sensor NSI5900 for the mobile 3D vision solution in 2022. It will extend the usage in mobile cameras, such as 3D measurement of an individual within a distance of 15 meters, 3D video recording and VR production. The sensor, which is an eye-safe laser in small size, is designed to recognise faces, gestures and expressions even in low lighting.

A number of well-known electronic manufacturers are competing in this sector, and they are Sony, Samsung Electronics, Toshiba, Panasonic and Taiwan Semiconductor. Asian market is the largest in the world, accounting for 36% in the global CMOS image sensor market.

Because of the trend in factory automation as well as the increasing processing speed by the 3D sensor, the demand for 3D sensors is increasing and the robotic sensor market is expanding rapidly too. Factories are building automatic assembly lines in a wide range of operations, including screw driving, delivery process, quality inspection and inventory processing, …etc. Many different types of sensors, such as light sensor, tactile sensor, ultrasonic sensors, navigation and positioning sensors, are developed for manufacturing, logistics, transportation and other needs.

In this efficient and modern era, autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are deployed in most of the warehouses worldwide, operating as weightlifters, angle grippers and direction navigators…etc. The COVID-19 pandemic is the catalyst of the development of collaborative and humanoid robots across the world. Those robots, which provide contact-free services in hospitals, clinics and other healthcare facilities, have demonstrated great values. The robotic sensor market reached USD 1.64 billion in 2019, and it is projected to become USD 3.4 billion by 2027 with a CAGR of 9.8% for the forecast period.

Newsight’s MCU on chip provides the eyes of a robot to acquire data, analyze data and make the robot smarter over time. Installed in a cleaning robot as an example, their sensor will study the surroundings, collect data, distinguish the dirty area, drive toward the dirt and perform the duty. Similarly, their sensor can also be used in Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV) to detect the shape of any object, position grippers, drive along the corridor and complete the task, which is broadly applied in top companies such as Amazon. With the MCU on-chip together with a digital processor, the sensor can make real time decision making, continuous data steaming and work perfectly for any IoT device.

The top market players of robotic sensors are AMS, ATI Industrial Automation, Baumer Group, Balluff GmbH, CAPTRON Electronic GmbH, Hans Turck GmbH, ifm electronic GmbH, Cognex, DAIHEN, Datalogic, Fanuc, Advanced Sensor Technology, Honeywell International, Infineon Technologies, Kenyence, Omron and OnRobot A/S.

Barcode scanners, also known as barcode readers, are used extensively in shops, courier companies and warehouses, to capture the barcodes, decode their information and analyse inventory in real time. They can perform with high sensitivity, high resolution, high speed and a high dynamic range. They are also applied in the data management for the medical records of patients in the healthcare industry and the banknote recognition systems in banks. Furthermore, the growing popularity of QR codes triggers an additional demand of those sensor-based chips.

The linear image sensor market is forecasted to be the largest share of CMOS image sensor market in the coming years. The global barcode scanner market experienced a strong growth during 2015 to 2020, and it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 9% from 2021 to 2026 reported by IMARC Group.

Newsight brings in a 3D vision solution into Industry 4.0 for displacement, distance and thickness measurement to increase production efficiency. Their image sensor, which contains Analogue and Digital blocks in one chip, enables fast integration to AI processors to learn and can make devices smarter. Their zero latency on machine decision system allows real time decision making and provides reliable results even in continuous industrial operation.

Their Laser Displacement sensor NSI3000 CMOS chip in Triangulation mode with high accuracy of 4μm is applied in assembly inspection, quality validation as well as sorting process. Of course, their image sensor with the high speed photographic capability can be integrated into advanced system for rapid reading barcodes while performing high resolution scanning of envelops and parcels within a two meters distance. The sensor can sort out faulted rice grain, detect and analyse each individual rice grain in a production line at maximum accuracy in continuous high speed.

The main players are Bluebird, Cognex, Datalogic, DENSO, Honeywell International, JC Square, Scandit AG, Zebra Technology, SATO Holdings and Toshiba TEC.

Spectral sensing system on chip is the technology amplifying optical signals for multi-analyte detection with different optical measurement methodologies. Analysing the spectrum absorbed by the analyte, the spectral sensor with the AI technology can distinguish the material, substances, colour, authentication, foods and fluids. The technology has been adopted in the water, food and beverage sector to perform quality checks as well as the medical sector to perform blood tests. This new type of spectral analysers with ultra compact size can be integrated into smartphones and wearable devices, which may trigger new demand of spectral sensor in the future.

The Spectrometers system market had high growth from USD 655 million to USD 922 million from 2016 to 2019, according to businesswire.com. The use of Spectrometer-on-chip sensors can reach more than 300 million pcs/year in 2024, with a forecasted CAGR up to 111% between 2020 to 2024.

Spectralit production, which is the core business of Newsight, will generate over 67%, 77% and 88% of total revenue of the company in 2021, 2022 and 2023 respectively.

Newsight has developed a diagnostics kit, SpectraLiT, to identify different substances, impurities and deteriorating levels in fluid in seconds. By directing a white light beam at any material or even on running liquids, a transmitted light in different wavelengths is received, which correlates to the light absorbance to that material. The transmitted light creates a unique spectral signature to every material or molecule.

Newsight has developed a prototype based on its spectral CMOS sensor that is capable of providing 24 hours real-time contaminants detection and monitoring water at a high speed of thousand frames per second without physically contacting the water. The system is able to connect to wireless communications medium, smart water meters, and transmit the sampling results to the cloud for quality control. In addition, this spectral technology can assess percentage of alcohol and food ingredient in a beverage without any laboratorial evaluation.

Newsight has also successfully developed diagnostic test kits for tropical viruses in blood serum within a few seconds at 99% accuracy. Now, a new mouthwash test kit is developed for COVID in the largest hospital in Israel Sheba Medical Center, achieving 95% accuracy on 400 people. Given the high accuracy, the COVID test kit will be mass produced and sold at around U$200 to everyone in the globe by the end of 2021. The test kits, which are small, portable, accurate, safe and fast, can be used in every home, clinic, airport, museum and cinema. The test kit has an IoT interface allowing for updates in case of viral mutation, consistently improves accuracy through AI, and can be developed to detect other microbials.

Other players in the spectral sensor market are AMS, Avantes B.V., B&W Tek, Metrohm, Galaxy Scientific Inc, Si-Ware Systems, Shimadzu, Ocean Insight, McPherson, Ibsen Photonics A/S, PerkinElmer, Thermo Fisher Scientific, Rigaku, Viavi Solutions.

NewSight Imaging — ‘Where Technology Shines’ video:

Written by Dr. Kyle Wong, and Ms. Florence Ip

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