Digitimes' sources report that Samsung plans to add one more 8-inch fab for image sensor production in 2010 to satisfy increasing market demand. So far the company has two 8-inch and one 12-inch fabs manufacturing CIS products in South Korea.
Samsung already increased monthly capacity by 12,000-20,000 wafers to its two existing 8-inch fabs, which produced 40,000-45,000 wafers per month originally, in the second half of 2009. The new 8-inch fab will have about 20,000 wafers monthly capacity and can go up to 90nm processes, compared to 0.11-micron processes at the older two 8-inch fabs. The 12-inch fab's monthly capacity is 20,000-25,000 wafers.
Digitimes' sources think Samsung's recent capacity expansions are related to increased orders from HTC and strong netbook sales in China.
OmniVision too has increased its wafer starts at TSMC. Aptina has also expanded capacity at its 8-inch fab in Italy and will speed up CIS production at another 8-inch fab in Japan in 2010, according to Digitimes's sources.