Reuters has reported that Sony is planning to invest 35 billion yen (approximately US$345 million) to expand its manufacturing capacity of smartphone and tablet image sensors. Apparently this move is at least partly driven by Sony's aim to increase its orders for image sensors in front-facing cameras that are mainly used for video-chats and taking self-portraits.
According to the report, the funds will go towards increasing production of stacked CMOS sensors at two sites on the southern Japanese island of Kyushu and retooling of a factory in northwestern Japan that was bought from Renesas Electronics Corp.
Sony says the investment will allow for a 13 percent increase in production to 68,000 wafers per month in 2015. Sony leads the market for smartphone imaging sensors, and supplies the sensors for Apple's iPhones and a large number of Android smartphones. Recently the Japanese company announced a new curved imaging sensor technology that might get used in smartphone cameras.
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