Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Sony Reports Image Sensor Sales Growth, Increases Forecast

Sony presents improved image sensor sales and outlook in its latest quarterly report:

SeekingAlpha: The company's earnings call reveals few more details on the image sensor business:

"The back-illuminated ToF sensor that we started to mass-produce from the second half of this fiscal year has started up smoothly. We expect that demand for image sensors will continue to expand for the next several years as multiple sensor cameras and larger-sized image sensors are adopted in smartphones. In order to proactively adapt to this increased demand, we have brought forward a capital expenditure plan for image sensors in our third mid-range plan and begun to consider increasing the amount.

As a result, we might increase our image sensor capital expenditures by about 20% above our previous plan, which will bring our production capacity to nearly a maximum that can fill in to our existing facilities by fiscal 2020.

...the Semiconductor business is very capital-intensive. So we remain very careful and cautious about proceeding with this. This capacity increase this time around is, as I mentioned, to meet the demand leading to 2020. And I mentioned the production capacity per month of 130k [wafers]. In the existing buildings, we can increase the production up to 136k [wafers]. We are looking into such a expansion opportunity. So using the existing buildings as much possible, why the increase in the production capacity?

...On our side, the imager for smartphones, our margins is about 20% plus.

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