Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Toshiba Gives Rest to its Wafer Lines

Earth Times: Due to the current economic slowdown, Toshiba plans to stop production for short periods at some of its fabs. One of the facilities affected is Oita operations, responsible for image sensors and SoC LSI production. The 300mm wafer lines will stop on January 5 and 6 for maintenance and other lines will stop for 22 days from December 24 to January 14.

My understanding is that Toshiba image sensors are manufactured on 200mm lines (am I right?), meaning they are to shut down for 22 days.

18 comments:

  1. No, Toshiba image sensors are manufactured on both 200 and 300. And, there is another fab that manufactures img sensors. cheers.

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  2. Toshiba is one company to keep an eye on. Samsung is the other one. These two will be the ones that will benefit from the downturn and come out at the top a year from now. Watch out.

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  3. Thanks, we are watching. So far one of the biggest weakness of Toshiba was strong NIH approach (Not Invented Here). Most of other companies buy and license technologies, while Toshiba develops everything by itself, in image sensors, anyway. This works well for now, but some day it might put Toshiba behind.

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  4. Image sensor: Why do you think so? And, what's wrong with that approach? Besides, I don't think NIH is entirely true. Toshiba seems to have licensed technologies from certain US based and Europe based technology vendors. The fact Toshiba is resting their fabs clearly underlines the underutilized fabs. Given this, they may be willing to drop prices to win deals. Don't you think? The fabless guys don't have that luxury... here's where I think Samsung will also do well.

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  5. > Why do you think so?

    Well, ST took EDOF from Dblur and DxO, works with LETI on BSI. Micron bought Photobit in the beginning and then bought few more technologies to gain leadership. Samsung acquired ISP knowledge from Transchip, and cooperates with many other companies in ISP and other imaging areas. Omnivision acquired CDM optics. Kodak acquired National's imaging business.

    I'm not talking about the quality of the technologies that these and other companies got, but there is an exchange of ideas and approaches and people between these companies and the outside world. In the long run I believe this is a winning approach, even though in some cases the benefits are questionable.

    Please understand me correctly. I'm not ati-Toshiba person. I like Toshiba WDR idea and I truly believe this is a great advance of the technology. I value very much Toshiba's efforts on eradicating the image lag and I think that Toshiba sensors are one of the best in that sense.

    However, doing everything inside takes time in many cases Toshiba comes behind others in terms of schedule.

    Talking about wafer prices, fabless vendors have their own degrees of freedom. They can go for cheaper second and third tier foundries, in China, for example. Even big foundries, like TSMC and UMC, lower prices when under-utilised. Fabless can even take wait and see approach as they are not obliged to feed their fabs with new orders all the time.

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  6. "in many cases Toshiba comes behind others in terms of schedule"

    Does it really matter in the long run? I am starting hear that though Toshiba comes a bit behind, they come out stronger and better than the rest. For OVT or Aptina or others - they are constantly being judged by the investor community to see action. They are under a performance pressure!!! I think Toshiba is not under such a pressure to perform. Toshiba is a bellwether company that doesn't really live quarter to quarter... or, so is my humble opinion. Good day!

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  7. Interesting discussion. I value your opinion about the company and it's great that Toshiba has so avid supporters like you!

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  8. Dear Image Sensor Blogger - I see that you have set a very popular blog here - at least for the imaging community. Your blog was mentioned by ST in their presentations at the recently concluded MIPI meeting in Las Vegas! Good job and keep up the good work.

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  9. Thank you for your encouragement. I'm trying to keep up with a stream of imaging news and your comments here!

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  10. BTW, who's behind this blog ? :-)

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  11. Sorry, I do not reveal my identity.

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  12. I am quite sure Image Sensor is based in San Jose, CA. Population of San Jose is about 1 million. I am working on it.

    Image Sensor, you can run... but you can't hide.

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  13. easy ---> Albert Theuwissen !!!

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  14. Image Sensor ChaserDecember 19, 2008 at 8:49 PM

    Chris, you are probably right. It is not hard to imagine that the academics (professors) are the ones that have the time to do research (and are paid to research and stay up-to-date).

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  15. Chris, you are not correct. I just looked up the attendees of Image Sensor Conference - and Albert Theuwissen was not present!

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  16. To Image Sensor Chaser:

    Unfortunately, I was not able to attend the Intertech-Pira Conference. I just was given a chance to look through a part of the conference presentation materials. However, it does not mean that Chris is right.

    To Toshiba Analyst:

    I was incorrect is saying that Toshiba does not license the technology. I should have done my homework better, as I already mentioned Toshiba licensing Tessera EDoF in my blog a year ago:

    http://image-sensors-world.blogspot.com/2007/12/toshiba-focuses-on-tessera-optiml.html

    But I'm wondering who is this European technology licensor of Toshiba that you mentioned?

    By the way, talking about NIH syndrome at Toshiba, I was merely reciting opinions of two different people I've talked about the company. Somehow Toshiba leaves this perception among the people.

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  17. Image Sensor, who are those two people (I am not seeking the identity - but what makes their views so believable)? i.e., Why did you believe what they said? Can you share what makes their views so important to you that you believed it?

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  18. The two are the long time industry veterans I happen to talk with quite a some time ago. And I generally trust people, for good or bad.

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