August 29, 2007 – Toshiba Corp. is speeding up its planned 25% increase in production of CMOS image sensors used by roughly six months, from next March to this October, due to projections of growing demand in the handset market and use of cell phone cameras with increasingly higher resolutions, notes the Nikkei daily.
The company will augment some production lines at its system chip plant in Oita Prefecture, where most of the CMOS sensors are made, and where existing chip fabrication equipment can be utilized so as to minimize the investment, the paper notes. Mass production of high-end 5M pixel CMOS sensors is slated to start as early as the quarter ending March 2008.
Toshiba, Japan’s major supplier for CMOS sensors used in cell phones, expects to hit 15% global market share in the current fiscal year, and double that to 30% by fiscal 2010, the paper notes.
Others are looking at ramping their image sensor ops as well. Sony has been mulling a shift from CCD image sensors to CMOS versions, exemplified by a three-year 60 billion yen (US ~$489 million) investment at the Kumamoto Technology Center of subsidiary Sony Semiconductor Kyushu Corp., noted the Nikkei Business Daily and Nikkei daily.