Digitimes Research: Sony to lower investment on CMOS image sensor equipment in fiscal 2016

Jessie Lin, DIGITIMES Research, Taipei 0

Sony will reduce its equipment investment for CMOS image sensors to JPY70 billion (US$691.53 million) in fiscal 2016, while maintaining its sensor production capacity at 70,000 12-inch equivalent wafers a month during the fiscal year, according to Digitimes Research.

Sony will also gear up efforts to increase penetration rates of its CMOS image sensors in the automobile, robot and medicare segments as its CMOS image sensor revenues are expected to stay flat at JPY960 billion-JPY1 trillion (US$9.48-9.87 billion) in fiscal 2016 as compared to a year earlier, Digitimes Research noted.

The CAGR (compound annual growth rate) for applications of CMOS image sensors in the automobile, security controls and medicare is expect to reach over 27%, respectively, during the 2014-2020 period compared to a 4% for the handset sector, the largest outlet for Sony's image sensors currently. Additionally, Sony's share in the automobile CMOS image sensor market is also relatively low currently.

Sony has enhanced its image sensing technology through acquisitions, including the adding of ToF (time-of-flight) and medical sensing technologies. The ToF sensing technology will enable Sony to develop related applications for the automobile, robot, security control, gesture recognition and reactive gaming industries.

While the global medical sensor market is expected to reach only US$300 million in 2020, an estimated CAGR of 31% during the 2014-2020 period will make the sector viable for Sony. Sony Olympus Medical Solutions, a medical business joint venture between Olympus and Sony, have rolled out its 4K UHD surgical endoscopy systems for the medical industry. Sony aims to take up a 30% share of the global surgical endoscopy-use image sensor market by 2020.

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