NIKKEI, Fox Business: Sony said it will spend about Y40 billion to boost its output capacity for image sensors for digital cameras, as it expects the business to grow due to brisk global demand for camera-equipped smartphones and DSLRs.
The Japanese electronics giant plans to raise the production capacity of CMOS image sensors at its plant in Kumamoto Prefecture, southern Japan, to 22,500 wafers a month by the next fiscal year through March 2012, from the current monthly output capacity of 16,000 wafers.
Update: Business Wire: Now there is an official PR from Sony, saying that the money will be invested over the time from 2H of FY2010 through FY2011. The capacity at Kumamoto Prefecture fab will be increased from 16,000 300mm wafers a month to 22,500 300mm wafers monthly.
Sony is going to increase BSI production capability and expand the BSI sensors applications to smartphones as well as a wide range of digital imaging products for consumer and professional use, including DSLRs.
Since 2009, Sony has been mass producing BSI sensors for DSCs and camcorders on 200mm wafer lines at Sony Semiconductor Kyushu Corporation’s Nagasaki Technology Center. Furthermore, at the end of this year Sony plans to start the mass production of BSI sensors on 300mm wafer lines at Kumamoto TEC for mobile phone and compact DSC markets.
Update #2: The news release at Sony site has some additional information and a picture of Kyushu facility.