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Panasonic is to expand its semiconductor plant in Tonami, Japan in a move to boost image sensor production. The ¥94 Billion (US $860 million) investment will allow the 48,000 sqM plant to process up to 30,000 8" silicon wafers per month, meaning total device production is likely to be in the millions. construction begins in September 2008 and the facility is expected to be fully operational by August 2009.
Osaka, Japan - Panasonic, the leading brand by which Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. is known, today announced its plans for the expansion of semiconductor production facility at its Tonami plant in Toyama Prefecture, Japan. The construction of the new facility which will produce image sensors for various digital appliances will start in September 2008 and production will be launched in August 2009. The company plans to invest 94 billion yen for the expansion.
Panasonic has been developing its semiconductor business with advanced system LSIs at the core, focusing on five digital consumer electronics areas including optical disc devices, digital TV sets, mobile communications, image sensing and automotive electronics. The semiconductor business is backed by the combined system technology capabilities of the Panasonic Group and its low-power consumption, high-speed signal processing and fine patterning technologies, which are critical requirements for consumer electronics.
Panasonic has led the growth of the digital consumer electronics market with the company's original MOS image sensor, νMaicovicon®, and charge coupled devices (CCD) for digital cameras, camcorders and mobile phone applications. The new plant, capable of coping with the progress of fine processing technology, will respond to the rapid expansion of the digital camera and other image-related markets and demand for more sophisticated features including higher resolutions.
The new plant will strengthen Panasonic's image sensor business in areas of digital cameras, in-vehicle devices, camcorders, broadcasting and medical equipment. After commencing production in August 2009, the company plans to gradually increase its production capacity up to 30,000 wafers per month.
The new plant will employ environmental measures including local cleaning technology to reduce CO2 emissions from the air conditioning systems in cleanrooms by 30 percent compared with the existing plant.