Reuters: Sony will invest $1.2B in the next financial year to double its output of image sensors. The sum includes a deal announced last week to buy back a semiconductor production line from Toshiba, which has been estimated by an industry source at 50 billion yen ($600 million).
Sony will take advantage of a Japanese government subsidy for environmentally friendly businesses to help with the investment, it said in a statement but declined to say how much that would be.
It will convert part of the plant in Nagasaki, southern Japan, for the production of CMOS sensors and invest in wafer processing equipment for CMOS image sensors. The investment will bring its total production of image sensors, including CCD and CMOS types, to 50,000 300mm wafers a month by March 2012.
Market Watch and Business Week too present their versions of the story.
Update: Sony published an official PR here.
"Sony Corporation ("Sony") today announced that Sony plans to invest approximately 100 billion yen in Sony Semiconductor Kyushu Corporation's Nagasaki Technology Center ("Nagasaki TEC") in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, to increase the production capacity for CMOS image sensors.
This investment plan includes (i) the transfer of the semiconductor fabrication facilities from Toshiba Corporation ("Toshiba") contemplated under a non-binding memorandum of understanding between Sony and Toshiba jointly announced on December 24, 2010, (ii) refurbishment of a part of the above semiconductor fabrication facilities into new wafer lines capable of manufacturing CMOS image sensors, and (iii) refurbishment and equipment of a part of production facilities at Nagasaki TEC Building 3 for wafer processing to differentiate Sony's CMOS image sensors with Sony's independently developed unique technologies. Through the investment plan, Sony will utilize a governmental subsidy to be provided by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan - the "subsidy for programs to promote siting low-carbon job-creating industries" - mainly in connection with the investment mentioned in (iii) above."