Monday, November 14, 2011

Sony to Boost its Image Sensor Capacity Again

Reuters: Sony will boost its image sensor production capacity by 50 percent within two to three years starting next spring, the company said on Monday.

The previous plan called to boost capacity image sensors to 50,000 of 300mm wafer equivalents a month by the end of March 2012. The new plan will mean a further hike to 75,000 a month, measured in 300 mm wafer equivalents, by March 2014 or March 2015, a Sony spokeswoman said. The total includes both CCD and CMOS sensors.

As well as boosting capacity at its Nagasaki Technology Center in southern Japan, Sony will use foundries to raise production without a further major increase in investment.

Sony held an opening ceremony for its fourth CMOS sensor line at the Nagasaki plant on Monday. It started production at the third line in October.


  1. I think that if these capacity expansions are based on the projections from the presentation of a few weeks ago (the one where the goals were to be absolute #1 by revenue and volume - i.e. over 50% of each - circa 2015) then the company is making a very risky move.

  2. Then, monthly 27,500 wafers was for CCD? In your last post, CIS's capacity was to be increased to 22,500 wafers monthly.

  3. If you put 2+2-
    Story on OV BSI-2 yield issues + Sony 8M BSI in iPhone 4S teardown
    may be Sony might becoming majority supplier for iPhone 4S.

  4. 75,000 x $2,000/wafer x 12 month = ~ 1.8billion dollars

    Men, how much is left for others?

  5. The information has already been announced in Oct 2010.

    See the original post:


  6. How Much is the ratio of CMOS/CCD? It doesn't seem to be clear

  7. @ "The information has already been announced in Oct 2010"

    Actually, Oct. 2010 announcement talks about expanding the capacity to 50,000 wafers a month. The new announcement increases it to 75,000 wafers a month. But you are right, if not the numbers, the two announcements look similar.

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  9. @ "How Much is the ratio of CMOS/CCD?"

    The article didn't give specifics, but...

    ...the September presentation cited Sony's FY10 market share as 51% of CCD and 10% of CMOS for a total of 18% overall, by volume. The corresponding revenue figures were 59% of CCD, 32% of CMOS, and 42% overall. For CMOS, the volume and revenue were given as 1.2 billion and 425 billion yen.

    So, with a currency change, this puts CCD volume and revenue at 291 million and USD 3.25 billion, and CMOS volume and revenue at 1.2 billion and USD 5.52 billion.

    By application segment, Sony's one glaring weakness is in cellular main imagers. For FY10, segment volume was 980 million of the 1.2 billion CMOS image sensors, with Sony's declared share at 11%.

    The plan in the presentation envisions cellular volume growth to 1.63 billion by the 2014-2015 time frame, and Sony segment share growth to more than 30%.

    So in terms of volume, it looks like the company is hoping to go from circa 100 million CMOS image sensors for mobiles in FY10 to around 500 million CMOS image sensors for mobiles in just four years.

    With this in mind, I'd say the lion's share of the capacity increase is for CMOS.

    I think the plan is risky because I don't think the annual mobile volume will reach 1.63 billion by FY15.


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