As hinted at in an earlier report from Nikkei, Sony today confirmed it is investing 35 billion yen ($345 million) to increase the production of image sensors for smartphones and tablets, reports Reuters.
The electronics firm will use the 35 billion yen to boost production of stacked CMOS sensors at two factories in Kyushu, Japan as well as complete work at a factory it recently purchased from Japanese chipmaker Renesas Electronics. This investment will increase manufacturing by 13 percent, allowing Sony to produce up to 68,000 wafers a month by August 2015.
Sony is a leader in the imaging sensor market, supplying camera modules for major mobile phone and tablet manufacturers, including Apple and its iPhone since the iPhone 4s. Sony is rumored to be supplying Apple with a 13-megapixel Exmor IMX220 rear camera sensor and possibly the front-camera module for the iPhone 6.
Top Rated Comments
If they mean wafer like those use by Intel - they could put thousands in them
68,000 wafers... Apple sells iPhones in the tens of millions, so it's pretty safe to say that when they talk about wafers they mean actual silicon wafer discs that can fit large numbers (thousands) of sensors onto each one.
I do like what Apple and Sony are doing regarding imaging. I mean they are always limited by form factor but given the size of the lenses and sensor the pictures being produced are nothing short of phenomenal. They've practically killed off point and shoots.
Although I think it would be nice to see a small bump in megapixels to say 13Mpx or so while retaining the larger sized pixels as I can't see it being long till 4k recording is mainstream - but any bigger is just a waste. My iPhone 5S produces excellent pictures and video but I'd always like to see improvements to focus, changing light (going from sunny outside to dark interior), improved audio recording, but to be fair it's already at the point of being an excellent all round devices for photos and video.
1080p120, 4k30 would be good to see on the 6, yes I know they use a lot of data but with the new HEVC it's not that bad and it's a good set of standards. Also 1080p60 by default for video would be ideal to help with motion blur which I find a tad annoying while recording on my 5S, although I love the 120fps feature, I just wish it was 1080p.
I assume 1 wafer per camera module?
Apple have supposedly ordered 60-80 million iPhone 6's right?
That would take over 66 years to fulfil the order?