Sony set to double image sensor production

Invests $1.2 billion to expand CMOS capacity in 2011

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Sony is set to double its output of image sensors in 2011, investing a cool $1.2 billion in a planned expansion next year.

Sony clearly expects the demand for smartphone cameras and digital cameras and camcorders to continue to grow rapidly throughout 2011.

Japanese government subsidies

Sony Corp's internal investment of $1.2 billion in image sensors also includes a deal to buy back a semiconductor production line from Toshiba Corp, costing around $600 million.

Sony will make use of part of the factory in Nagasaki, southern Japan, for the production of CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) sensors and the development of new wafer processing equipment for CMOS image sensors.

The consumer electronics giant will make use of Japanese government subsidies to assist environmentally friendly businesses.

However, it is not yet clear exactly how much money Sony will receive from the Japanese government for its planned expansion.

Sony clearly has ambitions to catch-up with and overtake digital camera market leader Canon, with the objective to quickly ramp up total production of image sensors, including CCD and CMOS sensors, to 50,000 units a month by March 2012.

Via Reuters