Monday, December 27, 2010

Sony to Invest $1.2B to Double Image Sensor Production

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.
"

21 comments:

  1. what is the percentage of this investment on CMOS and CCD?

    ReplyDelete
  2. The official Sony PR says that the investment is intended for CMOS sensors:

    "Purpose of Investment: Increase production capacity to meet the increased demand for CMOS image sensors"

    http://www.sony.net/SonyInfo/News/Press/201012/10-165E/index.html

    ReplyDelete
  3. Samsung just lost all hope of becoming viable in the image sensor business. Sony dominating was just a matter of deciding whether or not they wanted it. They decided.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Compared to SONY, all the US and European companies are small. They don't have such ambition in the high tech fields!!!

    ReplyDelete
  5. @ "Samsung just lost all hope" and "Compared to SONY"

    I don't think these kinds of comments are at all helpful. The ISW community could be a support network of image sensor enthusiasts that transcends employers, nationality, race, and so on. It shouldn't be a place for my-tribe-is-better-than-your-tribe hostility.

    ReplyDelete
  6. CDM, great idea for a support network. Let's all use the ISW blog for some friendly support as Sony eats our lunch.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Generally speaking, it is Samsung that has been eating Sony's lunch the last 5 years. Surely everyone can see this in consumer electronics from TV's to cell phones etc. Try to remember much, if anything, about Samsung 10 years ago. And, it is Samsung's ambition from the very top level to "beat Sony".

    Generally, it is hard to imagine Sony doing what it takes to gain market share in the dog-eat-dog price competition for cell phone image sensors. Historically Sony has not been the low cost components manufacturer. They are excellent at vertical integration but not that successful in components. It won't be long before Chinese image sensors (designed in China) gain performance quality that will make an attractive world-class cost-performance trade. So I am still not sure how Sony will accomplish the stated mission.

    Last but not least, I do wish venomous comments by anonymous trolls were deleted by ISW immediately. It is like having graffiti on streets. It is best controlled by immediate erasure.

    ReplyDelete
  8. There is no difference in what Fossum posted and what the anon that posted "Sony dominating was just a matter of deciding whether or not they wanted it." Both state opinions. Fossum thinks it won't be long before Chinese designed sensors become this or that. That is deeply offensive mostly because of his complete ignorance on the subject of China.

    ReplyDelete
  9. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I did not intend to intervene in the discussion, but the last comment is (a) political (b) off-topic and (c) offensive, hence removed.

    ReplyDelete
  11. @ the anon post claiming that all Americans think like Eric Fossum. Many of us are objective, open and respectful of everyone, similar to the ISW blogger.

    ReplyDelete
  12. @anon - clever and insidious, getting your deleted post back into the forum.

    ReplyDelete
  13. we have to think a little bit about the post of other opinions. When I claim the lack of ambition in some technology investment in Europ/USA in consumer electronics, it's very objective statement. What is wrong?

    ReplyDelete
  14. I stated that Mr. Fossum's statement is similar to US hegemony. I didn't say that ALL the Americans think like Mr. Fossum. Most of them are objective, open mind, respectful and also highly talent. Please don't mislead others.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Sorry, I understand your removed statement better now. The new generation will change the ways of the old generation. The internet will help equalize and allow transparency.

    ReplyDelete
  16. back on topic - Sony buys back a plant that used to build chips for it's own PS3. Is it an addmitance that they are seriously revising downwards PS3's future prospects? Is it a coincidence this happens shortly after MS's huge hit with gesture technology (Kinect)? Sony has recently had much success in both the DSC and mobile fields with their CIS lineup, and this coupled with their belief that they need to develop a gesture recognition techology, and fast, if they want to compete in not only gaming, but more broadly in entertainment (living room)- this could be one of the major reasons why they are getting into CIS much more seriously.....what do you all think?

    ReplyDelete
  17. The projection is that 6 million Sony Moves and 5 million Microsoft Kinects will be sold till the end of this year. It does not sound like PS3 prospects are down.

    http://www.pcworld.com/article/211995/41_million_playstation_move_units_sold_claims_sony.html

    ReplyDelete
  18. Personally I feel that Kinect alone is not enough for most of the games which need precision action control and also gagdets selections. Sony Moves and Wii controller are more adequate.

    ReplyDelete
  19. Personally, I would never discount Samsung. According to Wikipedia (and I believe it in this case), Samsung itself has an economy larger than Argentina's. I risk generalization, but there is longstanding enmity between Korea and Japan. What better way to show the world who is better than to defeat the Japanese giant?

    ReplyDelete
  20. Yes, that sounds good. The only problem is that Sony decided they want the market. Sony has more experience, better technology and better consultants.

    ReplyDelete
  21. You want to learn all there is about gold and silver and you wish you could go to just one place instead of having to search all over for it. Well, what do you know?! Your wish just came true!

    ReplyDelete

All comments are moderated to avoid spam.