Video Surveillance

IQinVision IQEye 3 Series IQ032SI IP Camera Teardown

30 November 2012
The following is an overview of a teardown analysis conducted by IHS Benchmarking.

Overall Significance

IQinVision, one of the smaller players in the Americas market for network security cameras (ranked #10 in 2-11 Americas market share by IHS IMS Research), is a company that specializes in surveillance equipment, and the IQEye IQ032SI is part of the iQEye 3 series of IP surveillance cameras. This particular model features high-definition video (1080p), and is an IP camera that also uses Power over Ethernet. This model is a fixed camera.

Feature Significance

Surveillance in high definition clearly improves the ability to capture high quality images (the lens assembly on this camera is also good quality which is key to overall image quality received). The small form factor of this 3 series camera is an advertised advantage of the product. The main features of this surveillance camera are: (up to) HD 1080p resolution, H.264 Main Profile + MJPEG Compression, 60 fps @ SD480p, 30 fps @ HD720p and HD1080p, One-Way Audio w/ Built-in Microphone, Low-Light Feature, Power-over-Ethernet, Cast-Aluminum, DTS (Direct-to-Storage), and ONVIF and PSIA Compliance.

Design Significance

Though the bulk of the components in this system would be considered 'off the shelf', the choice of Ambarella for the core video processing SoC and Akros Silicon for the PoE chips, are interesting to us (and new). These are very specialized chips in the electronics market - and are not very high volume production parts. OmniVision provides the image sensor (2MP 1080p), with what appears to be an off-the-shelf product from them. IQInVisiion has modularized some of the systems such as the power supply board, probably in an effort to use the same PCBAs across multiple products - which helps keep costs down, but does add a bit of complexity in final assembly - but overall this design is modest in component count.

Target Market


Per IQinVision - target markets include: Banking/Finance, City Surveillance, Commercial/Industrial, Critical Infrastructure, Education, Gaming, Government/Law Enforcement, Healthcare, Retail and Transportation markets.



Press releases or release information not found for this product.

Pricing and Availability

$500 USD Retail

Retail pricing from major online retailer in the US - at the time of writing (Oct 2012) is just under $500. Purchased in high volume without distribution should be significantly lower in cost.


According to their own PR - IQinVision seems to be selling such camera systems worldwide. Based on their two corporate offices in California and the Netherlands - it stands to reason that they have more focus and strength selling into the US and European markets (though they have 'success stories' published that include sales to Korea.

Volume Estimations

100,000 Annual Production Volume
5 Total Years

For the purposes of this teardown analysis, we have assumed an Annual Production Volume of 100000 units and a Product Lifetime Volume of 5 year(s).

Teardown volume and production assumptions are primarily used for our cost analysis in terms of amortized NRE and tooling costs, especially for custom components specific to the model being analyzed (mechanical components especially). Unless assumed volumes are different by an order of magnitude, minor changes in volume (say 1 million vs. 2) rarely have a large net effect on our final analysis because of this.

Market Performance

According to IHS IMS Research reports: The World Market for CCTV and Video Surveillance Equipment – 2012 Edition, and, The World Market for Consumer and DIY Video Surveillance Equipment – 2012 Edition: We estimate that 1.27 million network cameras were shipped in 2011, in the Americas. 600,000 where higher resolution.

Despite the relatively slow paced economic recovery in the Americas, the network camera market continued to exhibit strong growth in 2011. The market grew at 31.6% in terms of revenue in 2011. This strong increase is partly attributed to a stronger than expected transition away from lower value standard definition cameras to higher value HD and megapixel cameras.

IMS Research forecasts that the ASP of network security cameras will increase at a rate of 3.4% (CAGR) between 2011 and 2016.

The rationale for the general increase in price is three fold. First, the proportion of HD and megapixel cameras is increasing which is helping to increase average prices. Second, there is an on-going change in the product mix from fixed network cameras to more expensive dome cameras. Third, there is a trend to add more features and functionality such as embedded video content analytics. Open standards (e.g. ONVIF and PSIA) will dramatically lower the technical barrier to entry for many potential vendors of network security cameras. However due to the current market structure of network video surveillance equipment sales, which is proportionally weighted to the upper middle, high and enterprise tiers, the barrier to market entry will continue to remain high for new network security camera manufacturers.

The price of network cameras is still high and most manufacturers are still able to make healthy margins; however, manufacturers have commented that the margins available on standard definition network cameras have decreased significantly and have resulted in a strong focus on HD and megapixel resolution network cameras.

The long term impact on prices of network cameras due to increasing competition within the market is difficult to predict. The market is currently divided into two distinct tiers: high value cameras and low value cameras, of which the high value cameras represent a significantly larger proportion of the market. The low value suppliers typically compete on price. As the number of low value suppliers increases, it would be reasonable to assume that price competition will lead to a decrease in camera prices. However, as the proportion of high value suppliers (in terms of sales revenues and unit shipments) is far greater, the influence of low value suppliers on aggregate network security camera pricing is low. Manufacturers of high value cameras typically compete on features. Additional features, technological advancement, support, and brand equity should prevent significant price decline in the high value camera tier of the market.

The network camera market is forecast to continue to grow strongly; HD resolution paired with H.264 compression and open standards help to provide an increasingly compelling argument for end-users to adopt IP video surveillance solutions. In the short term, IMS Research believes that the continuing trend towards higher value products will largely off-set any large price decrease due to the increasing competition between suppliers, resulting in relative price stability over the forecast period.

HD compliant segment will grow significantly faster than the non HD compliant network camera category over the forecast period. In terms of unit shipments, in 2016 over 95% of all megapixel network cameras will be HD compliant. The average price of HD compliant network cameras is projected to remain effectively flat over the forecast period whilst the average price non-HD compliant cameras is forecast to decline slowly at 2.5% CAGR towards 2016.

This market is estimated by IHS IMS Research at $701.5 million in the Americas in 2011. The largest providers of network cameras in the Americas in 2011 were Axis Communications, Sony Electronics and Panasonic System Networks (PSN).

Cost Notes

This company IQinVision, as a niche player, with modest production volumes, faces cost challenges. They are likely working with a major EMS (electronic manufacturing services) provider, but based on overall volumes for specialty products such as this, IQinVision likely suffers from poor purchasing leverage - and could potentially be 'overpaying' in the market. We have done our best to account for this kind of purchasing strength (or lack thereof). It is possible, if they are very market-educated, that they may be able to achieve better pricing than our analysis reflects - but it's equally probable that they pay even more than our pricing reflects.

The Top 10 components listed below account for 88% of the total BOM cost.

Lens Assembly - See Lens Analysis Tab for Details- (Qty: 1)
Ambarella A2-A1-RH Video Processor - SoC, H.264 Codec, 1080i- (Qty: 1)
Omnivision OV0271x Image Sensor - 2MP, 1080p, FSI CMOS, 1/2.7' Format, 3.00um x 3.00um Pixel Size, 5.86mm x 3.28mm Active Image Area- (Qty: 1)
Enclosure, Main - Die-Cast Aluminum, Machined, Painted, Printed- (Qty: 1)
Akros Silicon AS1834 PoE PD Controller - w/ Digital Power Management, HV Isolation, I2C Interface, & Quad DC-DC Outputs- (Qty: 1)
AVX TAJA476M006 Tantalum - Encapsulated, 6.3V, 47uF, 20%- (Qty: 22)
Enclosure, Main, Rear - Die-Cast Aluminum, Painted, Printed- (Qty: 1)
Elec & Eltek 8-Layer - FR4, Lead Free- (Qty: 1)
Samsung Semiconductor K9F5608U0D-P Flash - NAND, SLC, 256Mb- (Qty: 1)
Samsung Semiconductor K4T1G164QF-BCE6 SDRAM - DDR2-667, 1Gb, 64Mx16, 166MHz, 1.8V- (Qty: 1)

Not Included in Analysis

The total materials and manufacturing costs reported in this analysis reflect ONLY the direct materials cost (from component vendors and assorted EMS providers), AND manufacturing with basic test. Not included in this analysis are costs above and beyond the material manufacture of the core device itself – cost of intellectual property, royalties and licensing fees (those not already included into the per component price), software, software loading and test, shipping, logistics marketing and other channel costs including not only EMS provider and the OEM’s margin, but that of other resellers. Our cost analysis is meant to focus on those costs incurred in the manufacture of the core device and exceptionally in some circumstances the packaging and literature as well.

We do provide an Excel tab 'Overall Costs' where a user can enter their known pre and post production costs to build a per unit cost reflective of theirs actual expenditures.

Manufacturing Notes

According to IHS IMS Research - IQinVision have around 2% of the 2011 Americas market for network security cameras. This was a market of approximately $700M USD in 2011.

OEM Profile - per Company Website: 'IQinVision has been designing, manufacturing, and marketing the IQeye line of HD megapixel IP cameras since 1998. A world leader in IP network camera products, IQinVision is renowned for their image quality, stability, and reliability in the harshest environments. ONVIF and PSIA compliant, IQeye cameras are integrated with all leading Network Video recorders (NVR) and are backed by the industry's longest and most comprehensive warranty program in the world. The company's products are widely deployed in city surveillance, education, commercial/industrial, banking/finance, government/law enforcement, gaming, transportation, retail, healthcare, and critical infrastructure installations. IQinVision is a privately-held corporation headquartered in San Juan Capistrano, California with a regional office in Amsterdam, Netherlands.'

It is assumed that all IQinVision equipment are built by EMS providers (such as Jabil, Flextronics, Sanmina-SCI, etc. It seems unlikely that IQinVision would build in-house. Either way - our manufacturing costs analyses account for basic manufacturing costs without an assumption of margin for an outside EMS provider. That is beyond the cost scope of this analysis.

Country of Origin

For the purposes of this analysis, we are assuming the following country(ies) of origin for each level of assembly, based on a combination of 'Made In' markings, and/or assumptions based on our knowledge of such equipment.

Image Sensor PCB - Thailand
Lens Assembly - Thailand
Main PCB - Thailand
Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly - Thailand
Power Supply PCB - Thailand

Country of origin assumptions relate directly to the associated cost of manufacturing, where calculated by iSuppli. In the cases of ‘finished’ sub-assemblies (such as a Bluetooth module), we do not calculate internal manufacturing costs, but rather assess the market price of the finished product in which case country of origin assumptions may or may not have a direct effect on pricing.

Labor rates are applied directly only to hand inserted components and systems in our bill of materials, and although regional assumptions do, these new rates do not have a direct effect on our modeled calculations of placement costs for automated SMD assembly lines. “Auto” inserted components (such as SMT components) placement costs are calculated by an iSuppli algorithm which allocates a cost per component based on the size and pincount of the device. This calculation is affected by country or region of origin as well.

Design Complexity

Component counts by assembly and the number of assembly are indicators of design complexity and efficiency.

Component Qty: 1 - Lens Assembly
Component Qty: 225 - Main PCB
Component Qty: 93 - Image Sensor PCB
Component Qty: 130 - Power Supply PCB
Component Qty: 16 - Other - Enclosures / Final Assembly
Component Qty: 465 - Grand Total

We have few points of comparison against which to compare this device - however, electronically, this device is fairly simple and uses specialty components designed specifically for this application (video processing chip, and the PoE module) which keep the total component count fairly low (less than half that found in a typical smartphone, as a point of reference). The design features a total of 3 discrete PCBAs, the lens kit and the enclosure kit - but overall poses no specific challenges to produce in a modern production environment.

In modest production volumes the challenge becomes more about allocating the costs of things like setting up and breaking down production lines to manage small batches of production, which raises costs to the OEM.

Design Notes

The electronic core of the IQinVision IQEye 3 Series IQ032SI IP Camera is the Ambarella video processor system on chip (A2 series chip developed around the 2007 timeframe) which processes 1080i video. Essentially this is the 'brains' behind the camera and performs the bulk of the functionality for the camera (hence the 'system on chip' callout). Ambarella is uniquely focused on chip solutions for this application, and refers to the A2 series as the 'Ambarella A2 “HD Camcorder on a Chip”™ platform. Samsung used this chip for it's HD camcorder line back in 2007. Ambarella has many more series of SoCs that have been released since the A2 series - but given it's age - the A2 is probably a 'low cost' solution from Ambarella.

The other 'unusual' chip company that has a prominent slot in this design is Akros Silicon, who (and this is on the discrete 'power supply' or 'Power over Ethernet (PoE)' module), who make a multi-chip package solution for Power over Ethernet in a single IC package (AS1834).

The image sensor is from OmniVision - and is a OV0271x series HD image sensor: 2MP, 1080p, FSI CMOS, 1/2.7'' Format, with 3.00um x 3.00um Pixel Size, and 5.86mm x 3.28mm Active Image Area.

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