Monday, December 27, 2010

Sony to Spend $1.2 Billion for Image Sensor Capacity

Sony Corp. will invest 100 billion yen ($1.2 billion) over the next fiscal year to twice its production capacity for image sensors, as the company aims to expand output of the devices used in smartphones.

The maker of Cyber-shot cameras will buy back from Toshiba Corp. a factory making chips used in PlayStation 3 game consoles and convert the plant into an image-sensor production facility, Tokyo-based Sony said today in a statement. The company also plans to include equipment to an existing plant in Nagasaki, western Japan, to make high-quality image sensors, it said.

The investment follows a plan by Sony, disclosed in September, to spend 40 billion yen to boost output of so-called CMOS chips at a factory in Kumamoto prefecture. Japan’s largest exporter of consumer electronics aims to win a 30 percent share of shipments in the market for image sensors used in cell phones, compared with about 10 percent for the year ending March 2011, Yoko Yasukochi, a Sony spokeswoman, said by phone today.

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