November 14, 2011 / 8:52 AM / 9 years ago

Sony to boost image sensor capacity again

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

The electronics giant had already planned to boost capacity of the chips used in digital cameras and smartphones to 50,000 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.

Shares in Sony rose 1.4 percent on Monday, but have fallen by nearly 50 percent since the financial year began in April, as the company was hit by a series of blows including Thai flooding and the soaring yen.

Reporting By Nobuhiro Kubo and Reiji Murai, Writing by Isabel Reynolds; Editing by Joseph Radford and Michael Watson

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