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Sony to boost image sensor capacity... again

Japanese firm puts more chips in the smartphone and camera barrel

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Sony is planning to boost its image sensor production capacity by 50 per cent in the next two to three years, starting in the new year, the company said.

The Japanese firm had already been aiming to boost capacity of the chips used in digital cameras and smartphones to 50,000 a month by the end of March 2012, with an investment of 100bn yen (£815m) announced at the end of last year.

But now, a Sony spokeswoman told Reuters, the electronics giant plans to go to 75,000 a month by March 2014 or 2015, including both CCD and CMOS sensors.

As well as hiking capacity at its Nagasaki Technology Centre, Sony will use foundries to up production without having to fork over too much more cash.

A Sony spokesperson had not responded to a request for comment at the time of publication.

Big Asian consumer electronics houses like Sony are starting to turn away from their traditional earners – televisions, PCs and entertainment devices – as the market for portable electronics surges.

There are rumours that Sony might pull out of its LCD joint venture with Samsung, while it's already bought out the Ericsson side of Sony Ericsson so that it can focus more on the smartphone and fondleslab sector.

The Japanese tech firms have had the added burden of the soaring yen to deal with, making them less competitive against their Asian counterparts. ®

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