Sony said it will invest in its Nagasaki and Kumamoto Technology Centers next
year to increase production capacity for stacked CMOS
image sensors. Sony first announced its plan to expand CMOS production back in
January with the purchase of a fabrication facility in Tsuruoka,
Yamagata Prefecture. (See “Sony Invests $343 Million to Expand CMOS Production
The Nagasaki and Kumamoto investment is expected to enable Sony to complete stages
of production subsequent to the layering and mastering processes, to create a fully
integrated production system for stacked CMOS image sensors. This investment forms part of Sony’s mid- to long-term plan to increase
its total production capacity for image sensors to approximately 75,000
wafers per month, and is expected to increase the current
capacity of approximately 60,000 wafers per month to approximately
68,000 wafers per month in August 2015.
Stacked CMOS image sensors are said to deliver superior image quality and
functionality, together with compact size. Demand for these image
sensors is anticipated to further increase, particularly within the
expanding market for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets.
Sony intends to bolster its manufacturing capacity for stacked CMOS
image sensors, and further strengthen its integrated supply operations,
and to thereby reinforce its leading market position.
The total investment amount is expected to be approximately 35 billion
yen (US$340 million), comprising approximately 9 billion yen (US$90 million) (3
billion/US$30 million for the Nagasaki TEC; 6 billion/US$6 million for the Kumamoto
TEC) to be carried out in
FY14, and approximately 26 billion yen (US$260 million) for the Nagasaki TEC to
be carried out
in FY15. Of this, the 9 billion (US$90 million) to be invested in FY14 was
included in the forecast of capital expenditure of 65 billion yen ($640 million)
semiconductors in the current fiscal year announced on May 14, 2014.
exchange estimate approximate for July 23, 2014, 2:10 p.m. EST