Sony restructure to grow image sensor business

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Sony has formed a new company for its semiconductor business, which includes its image sensor technology, called Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation. The new company will begin operations on 1 April 2016.

Sony has also completed the acquisition of Belgian time-of-flight image sensor company Softkinetic Systems, which has become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony.

The aim of the change in operational structure, Sony says, is to ‘enable each of the three main businesses within this segment, namely the semiconductor, battery and storage media businesses, to more rapidly adapt to their respective changing market environments and generate sustained growth.’

Earlier in the year, the company announced that it was reorganising its Sony Semiconductor Corporation business in order to increase production capacity for stacked CMOS image sensors for mobile phones. Capacity would increase from 60,000 wafers per month to approximately 80,000 wafers per month by the end of June 2016.

Sony Semiconductor Corporation and Sony LSI Design, which cover Sony's semiconductor manufacturing and design operations respectively, will become subsidiaries of the new Sony Semiconductor Solutions Corporation.

In March 2015, Sony said it was closing its CCD 200mm wafer line at the Kagoshima Technology Centre in Japan, a move that impacted the machine vision industry.

With the acquisition of Softkinetic, Sony will focus on combining Softkinetic's time-of-flight range image sensor technology expertise with its own technologies with the aim of developing the next generation of range image sensors and solutions.

Time-of-flight distance measurement pixels, which are laid on top of the sensor in two dimensions, measure the flight time it takes for light to leave the light source, reflect off the object, and return to the image sensor.

Further information:

Sony Image Sensing Solutions Europe

Softkinetic

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