On Feb. 2, Sony announced a plan to increase capacity for its booming CMOS image sensor business. Specifically, Sony plans to increase production of CMOS image sensor wafers from 60,000 to 80,000 per month by mid-2016. The investment to achieve this is projected to total 105 billion yen (US $885 million) and production is expected to be spread among three plants in Japan, including the Yamagata plant purchased from Renesas Electronics in January 2014.
The increased production is aimed at silicon for Sony’s stacked CMOS image sensors. Stacked sensor packages separate what had been a single-chip solution into two chips: the image sensing pixels in one, and primarily digital support circuitry in the other. Stacked solutions are designed to shrink the imager footprint to allow easier integration in mobile devices, particularly smartphones and media tablets that have been emphasizing increasingly thin form factors.
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