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OVTI > SEC Filings for OVTI > Form 10-Q on 6-Sep-2013All Recent SEC Filings




Quarterly Report


The following information should be read in conjunction with our unaudited condensed interim financial statements and the notes thereto included in Item 1 of this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q. The following discussion contains forward-looking statements, within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933 and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, which involve risks and uncertainties. Forward-looking statements generally include words such as "anticipates," "believes," "expects," "intends," "may," "outlook," "plans," "seeks," "will" and words of similar import as well as the negative of those terms. In addition, any statements that refer to expectations, projections or other characterizations of future events or circumstances, including any underlying assumptions, are forward-looking statements. All forward-looking statements included in this Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q, including, but not limited to, statements regarding our projected results of operations for future reporting periods, the continuing shift of our sales towards our OmniBSI-2 devices, the extent of future sales through original equipment manufacturers, or OEMs, and distributors, future growth trends and opportunities in certain markets, the capabilities of new products, our expectations regarding our customers' future actions, the timing of the production of our products, the continuing capabilities of our production system, the increasing competition in our industry, the effect of supply constraints, the ability of our suppliers to cost effectively expand to meet supply needs, the continued importance of the mobile phone market to our business, our expectations regarding market preferences with respect to image sensor technologies, the continued concentration of manufacturers in the mobile phone market, the further expansion of the smartphone segment within the mobile phone market, continued price competition and the consequent reduction in the average selling prices of our products, anticipated benefits of our joint ventures and alliances, the ability of our new products to mitigate declines in our average selling prices, the development of our business and manufacturing capacity, future expenses we expect to incur, our future investments, our future working capital requirements, the effect of a change in foreign currency exchange and market interest rates, the geographic distribution of our sales and end users of our products, the continued improvement of general global and domestic economic conditions, our ability to improve our inventory turnover and to generate positive cash flow, the effects of adjustments to our tax positions and the sufficiency of our available cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments are based on current expectations and are subject to important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Such important factors include, but are not limited to, those set forth in Part II under the caption "Item 1A. Risk Factors," beginning on page 43 of this Quarterly Report and elsewhere in this Quarterly Report and in other documents we file with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, or SEC. All subsequent written and oral forward-looking statements by or attributable to us or persons acting on our behalf are expressly qualified in their entirety by such factors.

OmniVision, the OmniVision logo, OmniPixel and TrueFocus are registered trademarks of OmniVision Technologies, Inc., CameraChip, CameraCubeChip, OmniBSI, OmniBSI+, OmniBSI-2, OmniPixel2, OmniPixel3, OmniPixel3-HS, OmniQSP, SquareGA and ViV are trademarks of OmniVision Technologies, Inc. Wavefront Coded and Wavefront Coding are registered trademarks of OmniVision CDM Optics, Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of OmniVision Technologies, Inc.


We design, develop and market high-performance, highly integrated and cost-efficient semiconductor image-sensor devices. Our main products, image-sensing devices which we refer to as CameraChip™ image sensors, capture an image electronically and are used in a number of consumer and commercial mass-market applications. Our CameraChip image sensors are manufactured using the complementary metal oxide semiconductor, or CMOS, fabrication process and are predominantly single-chip solutions that integrate several distinct functions including image capture, image processing, color processing, signal conversion and output of a fully processed image or video stream. We have also integrated our CameraChip image sensors with wafer-level optics, which we refer to as CameraCubeChip™ imaging devices. Our CameraCubeChip imaging device is a small footprint, total camera solution that we believe will enable the further miniaturization of camera products. We believe that our highly integrated image sensors and imaging devices enable camera device manufacturers to build high quality camera products that are smaller, less complex, more reliable, more cost-effective and more power-efficient than cameras using traditional charge-coupled devices, or CCDs.

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Image Sensor Technologies

In May 2008, we announced a new approach to CMOS image sensor design we call OmniBSI™ technology. OmniBSI technology is based on an idea called back side illumination, or BSI. All traditionally designed CMOS image sensors capture light on the front side of the chip, so the photo-sensitive portion has to share the surface of the image sensor with the metal wiring of the transistors in the imaging pixel and the metal wiring acts to limit the amount of image light that reaches the photo-sensitive portion of the image sensor. This type of pixel architecture is referred to as the front side illumination, or FSI, architecture. With our OmniBSI architecture, the image sensor receives light through the back side of the chip. As a result, there is no metal wiring to block the image light, and the entire backside of the image sensor can be photo-sensitive. Not only does this enable us to produce a superior image, it also permits the front of the chip surface area to be devoted entirely to processing, and permits an increase in the number of metal layers, both of which result in greater functionality. Capturing light on the back side of the image sensor also allows us to reduce the distance the light has to travel to the imaging pixels, and thus provide a wider angle of light acceptance. Widening the angle of light acceptance in turn makes it possible to reduce the height of the camera module, and thus the height of the device which incorporates the camera module.

Since 2008, we have continued to refine our BSI technology. In February 2010, we announced our OmniBSI-2™ architecture built on the advanced 300 mm copper process at the facilities of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Limited, or TSMC. The OmniBSI-2 architecture represents our second-generation BSI technology and enables us to design imaging pixels as small as 1.1 µm in dimension. In January 2012, we introduced new image sensors based on OmniBSI+™, our improved 1.4 µm OmniBSI architecture. The OmniBSI+ architecture offers significant performance and image quality improvements over our original OmniBSI pixel architecture, and maintains a comparable cost structure.

CameraCubeChip Technology

In February 2009, we announced the introduction of our CameraCubeChip technology. This is a three-dimensional, reflowable, total camera solution that combines the full functionality of our CameraChip image sensors and wafer-level optics in one compact, small-footprint package. Our CameraCubeChip devices can be soldered directly to printed circuit boards, with no socket or insertion requirements. We believe our CameraCubeChip solution can streamline the mobile phone manufacturing process, thus resulting in lower cost and faster time-to-market for our customers. Although currently our customers primarily use our CameraCubeChip devices as secondary cameras in mobile handsets, going forward, we anticipate that they will be used as the primary camera in mobile handsets.

Other Technologies

In March 2010, we acquired Aurora Systems, Inc., or Aurora, a privately-held company incorporated in California. Aurora is a supplier of liquid crystal on silicon, or LCOS, devices for use in mobile projection applications and high definition home theater projection systems. With the acquisition of Aurora, we acquired advanced image projection technology to capitalize on trends in the emerging video-projection consumer market.

In January 2013, we introduced a dual-camera video sharing technology that we call Video-in-Video, or ViV™. ViV allows for the combination of video feeds from both the front- and rear-facing cameras into a single video stream.

New Products

In August 2012, we introduced the OV7955, a NTSC analog and digital image sensor designed specifically for automotive applications. The OmniPixel3-HS based image sensor is suitable for rear-view, surround-view and blind spot detection systems.

In August 2012, we also introduced the OV5648, a 1/4-inch 5-megapixel CMOS image sensor based on our 1.4-µm OmniBSI+ pixel architecture. The OV5648 is capable of capturing high quality still images as well as 720p HD video at 60 FPS and 1080p HD video at 30 FPS.

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In August 2012, we introduced a third product, the OV7695, our first VGA image sensor based on the OmniBSI+ pixel architecture. The 1/13-inch OV7695 is built on a 1.75-µm OmniBSI+ pixel architecture, and can capture VGA video at 30 FPS.

In October 2012, we introduced the OV480, a companion processor designed to enhance camera performance in wide field-of-view applications for automotive vision systems. The OV480 processor supports a wide range of OmniVision image sensors designed specifically for automotive applications.

In October 2012, we also introduced the OV5645, a system-on-chip 5-megapixel CMOS image sensor based on our 1.4-µm OmniBSI pixel architecture. The OV5645 offers 5-megapixel photography, 720p HD video at 60 FPS and 1080p HD video at 30 FPS. In addition, the OV5645 features a picture-in-picture architecture that allows for the attachment of a secondary camera to itself, thus enabling both cameras to communicate with the baseband processor via a single interface.

In October 2012, we introduced a third product, the OV8835, a 1/3.2-inch 8-megapixel CMOS image sensor based on an improved 1.4-µm OmniBSI-2 pixel architecture. The OV8835 can operate at 30 FPS for zero shutter lag high speed photograph. It is also capable of capturing full 1080p HD video at 30 FPS with electronic image stabilization, or EIS, or 720p HD video at 60 FPS with full horizontal field-of-view.

In October 2012, we also introduced a new CameraCubeChip imaging device, the OVM7695. It is a compact VGA CameraCubeChip with a module size of 2.4 x 2.4 x 2.3 mm. The OVM7695 is built on an optimized 1.75-µm OmniBSI+ pixel design, capable of capturing high-quality VGA video at 30 FPS.

In November 2012, we introduced the OV5656, a 5-megapixel CMOS image sensor based on our 1.75-µm OmniBSI+ pixel architecture. The 1/3.2-inch OV5656 is designed to address the needs of the smartphone, tablet and digital video camera markets. The OV5656 offers full-resolution, high-speed photography at 30 FPS. It can also record 1080p HD video at 30 FPS with EIS, and 720p HD video at 60 FPS.

In January 2013, we introduced the OV4688, a 4-megapixel CMOS image sensor built on our 2-µm OmniBSI-2 pixel architecture. The 1/3-inch OV4688 captures full-resolution 4-megapixel HD video at 90 FPS, 1080p HD at 120 FPS with EIS, and 720p HD at 180 FPS. These features are designed for mobile applications that require high quality, fast frame rate HD video and photography.

In January 2013, we also introduced a LCOS chipset solution for HD pico projection systems. The chipset solution comprises the OVP7200, a single-chip color field sequential LCOS panel that displays native 720p HD video, and the OVP921, a companion chip that accepts video data from different signal inputs and provides advanced image processing. The LCOS chipset is designed for pico projection systems in mobile devices and head-up displays in automotive applications.

In April 2013, we introduced the OV9728, a 720p HD image sensor based on our 1.75-µm OmniBSI+ pixel architecture. The 1/6.5-inch OV9728 captures 720p HD video at 30 FPS or high quality cropped VGA video at 60 FPS. The OV9728 is designed specifically for front-facing camera applications in notebooks, tablets, smartphones, and smart TVs.

In April 2013, we also introduced the OV2724, a 1/6-inch 1080p HD image sensor based on our 1.34-µm OmniBSI-2 pixel architecture. The OV2724 captures 1080p HD video at 60 FPS with enhanced high dynamic range, and has the capability to reduce or eliminate common sources of image contamination, such as fixed pattern noise and smearing. The OV2724 is designed for front-facing camera applications in smartphones, tablets and notebooks.

In June 2013, we introduced the OV8865, a 1/3.2-inch 8-megapixel CMOS image sensor based on our 1.4- µm OmniBSI-2 pixel architecture. The OV8865 can operate at 30 FPS for high-speed photography. It is also capable of capturing 1080p HD video at 30 FPS or 720p HD video at 60 FPS with electronic image stabilization, at 100 percent horizontal field of view. The OV8865 is designed for mobile devices that require small package and low power consumption, including advanced smartphones and tables.

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Capital Resources

As of July 31, 2013, we held approximately $196.7 million in cash and cash equivalents and approximately $43.8 million in short-term investments. To mitigate market risk related to short-term investments, we have an investment policy designed to preserve the value of capital and to generate interest income from these investments without material exposure to market fluctuations. Market risk is the potential loss due to the change in value of a financial instrument as a result of changes in interest rates or bond prices, and changes in market liquidity and in the pricing of risk. Our policy is to invest in financial instruments with short maturities, limiting interest rate exposure, and to measure performance against comparable benchmarks. We maintain our portfolio of cash equivalents and short-term investments in a variety of securities, including both government and corporate obligations with ratings of "A" or better and money market funds. We do not believe that the value of our cash, cash equivalents and short-term investments will be significantly affected by current instability in the global financial markets.

Current Economic Environment

We operate in a challenging economic environment that has undergone significant changes in technology and in patterns of global trade. We remain a leader in the development and marketing of image sensing devices based on the CMOS fabrication process and have benefited from the growing market demand for and acceptance of this technology.

Since the latter part of fiscal 2009, we have experienced fluctuations in our financial results due in part to changing macroeconomic conditions. As macroeconomic conditions have improved, our sales have also tended to improve and when macroeconomic uncertainties have returned, our sales have tended to be negatively impacted. In fiscal 2013, macroeconomic conditions appeared to gradually improve and our annual sales improved when compared to fiscal 2012. For the three-month period ended July 31, 2013, our sales have continued to improve, especially when compared to the similar prior year period. Nevertheless, given the current economic environment and continuing uncertainties that exist, we remain cautious and we expect our customers to be cautious as well, which could affect our future results. If the economic recovery slows down or even dissipates, our business, financial condition, results of operations and cash flows could be materially and adversely affected.

Market Environment

We sell our products worldwide directly to OEMs, which include branded customers and contract manufacturers, and value added resellers, or VARs, and indirectly through distributors. In order to ensure that we address all available markets for our image sensors, we organize our marketing efforts into end-use market groups, each of which concentrates on a particular product or, in some cases, customers within a product group. Thus, we have marketing teams that address the mobile phone market, the entertainment market, the notebook and webcam market, the digital still camera, or DSC, market, the security and surveillance market, and the automotive and medical markets.

In the mobile phone market in particular, future revenues depend to a large extent on an extensive design win process where a particular mobile phone maker determines which image sensor to design into one or more specific models. The time lag between design win and volume shipments varies from as little as three months to as much as 12 months, which could cause an unexpected delay in generating revenues, especially during periods of product transitions. Design wins are also an important driver in the many other markets that we address. In some markets, such as automotive or medical applications, the time lag between a particular design win and revenue generation can be longer than one year.

The overwhelming majority of our sales depend on decisions by the engineering designers for manufacturers of products that incorporate image sensors to specify one of our products rather than one made by a competitor. In most cases, the decision to specify a particular image sensor requires conforming other specifications of the product to the chosen image sensor and makes subsequent changes both difficult and expensive. Accordingly, the ability to produce and deliver reliable products in large quantities and in a timely manner is a key competitive differentiator. Since our inception, we have shipped more than 4.2 billion image sensors, including approximately 208 million in the three months ended July 31, 2013. We believe that these quantities demonstrate the capabilities of our production system, including our sources of offshore fabrication.

We outsource the wafer fabrication and packaging of our image-sensor products to third parties. We outsource the color filter and micro-lens phases of production to VisEra Technologies Company, Ltd., or VisEra, our joint venture with TSMC. This approach allows us to focus our resources on the design, development, marketing and testing of our products and to significantly reduce our capital requirements.

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To increase and enhance our production capabilities, we work closely with TSMC, our principal wafer supplier and one of the largest wafer fabrication companies in the world, to increase, as necessary, the number of its fabrication facilities at which our products can be produced. Our investments in VisEra and three other key back-end packaging suppliers are part of a broad strategy to ensure that we have sufficient back-end capacity for the processing of our image sensors in the various formats required by our customers. To enhance our CameraCubeChip production capabilities, we acquired from VisEra in October 2011 its CameraCubeChip production and assembly operations, which we had previously outsourced to them.

We currently perform the final testing of our packaged products at our own facility in China. As necessary, we will make further investments to expand our testing and production capacity, as well as our overall capability to design additional custom products for our customers.

Since our customers' end-user customers market and sell their products worldwide, our revenues by geographic location are not necessarily indicative of the geographic distribution of end-user sales, but rather indicate where the products and/or their components are manufactured or sourced. The revenues we report by geography are based on the country or region in which our customers issue their purchase orders to us.

Many of the products using our image sensors, such as mobile phones, entertainment applications such as tablets, notebooks and webcams, and DSCs are consumer electronics goods. These mass-market camera devices generally have seasonal cycles which historically have caused the sales of our customers to fluctuate quarter-to-quarter. In addition, since a very large number of the manufacturers who use our products are located in China and Taiwan, the pattern of demand for our image sensors has been increasingly influenced by the timing of the extended lunar or Chinese New Year holiday, a period in which the factories which use our image sensors generally close. Consequently, demand for our image sensors has historically been stronger in the second and third quarters of our fiscal year and weaker in the first and fourth quarters of our fiscal year. Due to the macroeconomic uncertainties that have existed during the past several years, the seasonal cycle of our business has been less predictable. Beginning in fiscal 2013, our business started to recover and the seasonal cycle in our business became very pronounced. Nonetheless, given the current economic environment, we remain cautious toward our near-term business prospects, and the return of the historical seasonal cycle of our business. Should the historical seasonal cycle return, we also believe that our fiscal 2014 seasonal cycle will be less pronounced when compared to fiscal 2013. While we believe that the market opportunities represented by mobile phones and entertainment applications such as tablets remain very large, the opportunities presented could be deferred because of the uncertainty surrounding the sustainability of the current global economic recovery.

We believe that, like the DSC market, mobile phone, tablet, notebook, and webcam demand will not only continue to shift toward higher resolutions, but also will increasingly fragment into multiple market segments with differing product attributes. For example, we see the further expansion of the smartphone segment within the mobile phone market. In addition, there is increased demand for customization, and several different interface standards are coming to maturity. All of these trends will require the development of a broader variety of products.

As the markets for image sensors have grown, we have experienced competition from manufacturers of CMOS and CCD image sensors. Our principal competitors in the market for CMOS image sensors include Aptina Imaging, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, STMicroelectronics and Toshiba. We expect to see continued price competition in the image-sensor market for mobile phones, entertainment devices, notebooks and webcams, security and surveillance systems, digital still and video cameras, automotive and medical imaging systems as those markets continue to grow. Although we believe that we currently compete effectively in those markets, our competitive position could be impaired by companies that have greater financial, technical, marketing, manufacturing and distribution resources, broader product lines, better access to large customer bases, greater name recognition, longer operating histories and more established strategic and financial relationships than we do. Such companies may be able to adapt more quickly to new or emerging technologies and customer requirements or devote greater resources to the promotion and sale of their products. Many of these competitors own and operate their own fabrication facilities, which in certain circumstances may give them the ability to price their products more aggressively than we can or may allow them to respond more rapidly than we can to changing market opportunities.

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In addition, from time to time, other companies enter the CMOS image-sensor market by using obsolete and available manufacturing equipment. While these efforts have rarely had any long-term success, the new entrants do sometimes manage to gain market share in the short-term by pricing their products significantly below current market levels which may put additional downward pressure on the prices that we can obtain for our products.

In common with many other semiconductor products and as a response to competitive pressures, the average selling prices, or ASPs, of image-sensor products have declined steadily since their introduction, and we expect ASPs to continue to decline in the future. Some of this ASP decline may be offset by the adoption of some of our newer and higher resolution products, such as our CameraCubeChip products, which carry a higher ASP because of the added value from the attachment of wafer-level optics to our image sensors. Depending on the adoption rate and unit volume, we believe these products could help to mitigate the rate of ASP decline. In order to maintain or grow our revenues, we need to increase the number of units we sell by a large enough amount to offset the effect of declining ASPs.

Separately, in order to maintain our gross margins, we and our suppliers must work continuously to lower our manufacturing costs and increase our production yields. In fiscal 2013, we requested our suppliers to invest in additional equipment in connection with the production of our OmniBSI-2 products. Such investment resulted in higher product costs and lower gross margins for us in fiscal 2013 and in the three-month period ended July 31, 2013. If we are unable to spread such added cost over larger unit sales or successfully negotiate lower prices with our suppliers, our gross margin may continue to stay at these lower levels for future periods as well. In addition, if we are unable to timely develop and introduce new products that can take advantage of smaller process geometries or new products that incorporate more advanced technology and include more advanced features that can be sold at higher ASPs, our gross margin may decline.

Having the ability to forecast customer demand correctly and to prepare the appropriate level of inventory to meet this demand is also important in the semiconductor industry. In fiscal 2011, the entire semiconductor industry, including us, experienced supply constraints. Due to supply constraints, semiconductor companies were unable to meet the product demands of their customers and had to take certain actions such as allocating available products among their customers or, in some cases, increasing the prices of their products. This resulted in harm to customer relations, the loss of sales to customers and, in some cases, the loss of future business with those customers. We faced these same challenges as we sought to meet our customers' demand for our products. Despite these challenges, through careful strategic planning relating to our products and the technologies that we delivered to market, we were able to achieve revenue growth and unit growth. If supply constraints were to happen again and we were unable to manage our products appropriately, our . . .

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