Japan’s largest electronics manufacturer, Sony Corp., stated on Monday that it will begin shipping its latest image sensor in October to meet with an increasing demand from foreign and domestic smartphone manufacturers. Sony says its new line of CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductors) camera sensors are both smaller and produce sharper images than what their current offerings are capable of. As consumer interest in smartphones both in Japan and abroad rises, and with more and more manufacturers attempting to take advantage of the Android operating system to compete with Apple’s hugely popular iPhone, the demand for smaller and better camera sensors will be difficult to match.
Sony’s imaging modules are currently made at a factory in Kumamoto Prefecture, but to increase production speed and capacity, starting this month production will also begin in Guangzhou, China. Speaking in June of this year, the company said that it would be spending as much as 80 billion yen (approx. $1 billion) to go from 45,000 units produced a month to 60,000. The main goal of Sony is to win more orders for cameras to be used in smartphones, hopefully supplying 30% of the global market by March 2014.
With a massive restructuring at hand after more than a decade of losses in its TV division, part of the strategy by new CEO Kazuo Hirai is to use its new developments across more sectors. While refocusing on mobile devices and gaming, Sony is also entering the medical equipment field. In order to speed up that move, it will use its advantage in camera sensor technology to help with medical imaging.