Sony Corp. is planning to invest about 100 billion yen (US$1.19 billion) to double the output capacity for CMOS image sensors used in digital cameras and smartphones, at its production facility in Nagasaki by March 2012.
The investment amount includes the cost of purchasing Toshiba’s chip manufacturing line in
Nagasaki. Toshiba has reached a basic agreement to sell the line in Nagasaki to Sony for about 50 billion yen (US$595 million). The company announced plans to quit making the advanced system chip
called the “Cell” and instead focus on memory chips.
Sony once held top share in CCD sensors which were a mainstay in D-cams in the early 2000’s. Now CMOS sensor has gained that ranking as they consumes less electricity. Sony is now No. 6 in the world’s CMOS sensor market with a 5 percent share, according to Techno System Research Co. Sony intends to pursue the rivals with the production boost.