Sony Corp. will invest 100 billion yen ($1.2 billion) over the next fiscal year to double its production capacity for image sensors, as the company aims to expand output of the devices used in smartphones.
The maker of Cyber-shot cameras will buy back from Toshiba Corp. a factory making chips used in PlayStation 3 game consoles and convert the plant into an image-sensor production facility, Tokyo-based Sony said today in a statement. The company also plans to add equipment to an existing plant in Nagasaki, western Japan, to make high-quality image sensors, it said.
The investment follows a plan by Sony, disclosed in September, to spend 40 billion yen to boost output of so-called CMOS chips at a factory in Kumamoto prefecture. Japan’s biggest exporter of consumer electronics aims to win a 30 percent share of shipments in the market for image sensors used in mobile phones, compared with about 10 percent for the year ending March 2011, Yoko Yasukochi, a Sony spokeswoman, said by phone today.
Sony’s overall capacity for the devices will be lifted to 50,000 units a month by March 2012 from 25,000 currently, according to the statement.
Sony was little changed at 2,960 yen at the 3 p.m. close of trading in Tokyo, compared with a 0.7 percent advance by the benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average.
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