Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Sony to Spend Y40bn to Expand CIS Capacity, BSI Applications Range

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.

14 comments:

  1. any idea if any or all of this is with a view toward sony doing business with apple? TIA

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  2. they defence with determination their last bastion! Great !

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  3. My guess is next iPhone will have 8M bsi from Sony
    Time is running out for both aptina and ov

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  4. Apple is sticking with OV.

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  5. My guess is that it will be too risky for Apple to switch over to Sony for next year's iPhone (13~15 Million sensors per quarter if Verizon is included). Unlike others, Apple so far has stayed with one sensor source for all imaging products. It might be time for them to try dual source sensors (Sony as the backup).

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  6. rimm was using ov and stm at the same time according to chipworks. they were not using one as the backup for the other. the phonemaker can just advertise it generically by saying, for example, it's a 3mp w/ autofocus. they don't have to advertise fsi v. bsi, or any of the small stuff like face recognition, antishake, etc...that one vendor may have and another not have. then apple can just have each vendor "calibrate" the devices so that they both carry the same attributes. sorry for my ignorance of your jargon. hopefully you get the gist of what i'm trying to say. and go easy on me, i'm a white american who's never owned a cellphone.

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  7. All these discussions are sterile !
    Please put more technical comments!

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  8. not only is the manufacture of a sensor important, so is its marketing channel.

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  9. Sony BSI sensors are already made on 300mm for two years now. It is as simple as they bought two years ago specific 300mm equipments to make this BSI happen in their Kumamoto fab...

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  10. I'm surprised to see this announcement in that overall, Sony seems to be migrating towards a fab-lite model.

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  11. @ "Sony BSI sensors are already made on 300mm for two years now."

    For what it's worth, Sony official PR states:

    "Since 2009, Sony has been mass producing “Exmor R” for Digital Still Cameras and Digital Video Camcorders on wafer lines (with diameter of 200mm) at Sony Semiconductor Kyushu Corporation’s Nagasaki Technology Center. Furthermore, at the end of this year Sony plans to start the mass production of “Exmor R” on wafer lines (with diameter of 300mm) at Kumamoto TEC for mobile phone and compact Digital Still Camera markets."

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  12. Does SONY bsi sensors cost more to produce? This is an important number. I'd like to know.

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  13. Not sure how Sony can compete on price, volume and performance as OVT is currently producing BSI-2. They're at least 12-18 months out

    Here is Sony's president of Image sensor divsion

    http://techon.nikkeibp.co.jp/article/HONSHI/20100628/183822/

    Q: TSMC of Taiwan (which has joined forced with OmniVision Technologies, Inc. of the US), Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. of Korea and others are gaining momentum in the imaging device market. In CMOS sensors for mobile phones in particular, they hold a massive advantage in volume share over Sony. What are your comments on this situation?

    If the competition in imaging devices were strictly based on volume and cost, our approach wouldn't succeed. We don't have the large-scale fabs that our rivals do, and we won't build them. Fortunately, we can compete in device quality, and we can continue to add functions that make our customers happy.

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  14. better talk to james he about why he left omnivision.

    semiwiz

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