Nikkei reports that Panasonic is resuming image sensor development after freezing it for the last few years, aiming for applications including 8K UHDTV applications. The company plans to spend about 10b yen ($80.8M) to develop next-generation 8K sensors, with plans to release them in fiscal 2018.
Initially, Panasonic will use the new image sensors in its own consumer and broadcasting cameras. Later on, it intends to target broader applications including self-driving cars and surveillance, and may sell the sensors to other companies for smartphone and other applications. Production will likely be outsourced.
Panasonic had frozen image sensor development since its disastrous fiscal 2011. As earnings sharply picked up, Panasonic apparently decided that developing its own key image-processing components is essential to gaining a competitive in edge in imaging products.
TSR estimates the global image sensor market coming to 1.2 trillion yen in 2015. Sensors that support UHD imaging are seen as a growth area.