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 Post subject: Sensor Business
PostPosted: Fri Sep 03, 2010 3:49 pm 
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Sony to Spend Y40bn to Expand CIS Capacity, BSI Applications Range

NIKKEI, Fox Business: Sony said it will spend about Y40 billion to boost its output capacity for image sensors for digital cameras, as it expects the business to grow due to brisk global demand for camera-equipped smartphones and DSLRs.

The Japanese electronics giant plans to raise the production capacity of CMOS image sensors at its plant in Kumamoto Prefecture, southern Japan, to 22,500 wafers a month by the next fiscal year through March 2012, from the current monthly output capacity of 16,000 wafers.

Update: Business Wire: Now there is an official PR from Sony, saying that the money will be invested over the time from 2H of FY2010 through FY2011. The capacity at Kumamoto Prefecture fab will be increased from 16,000 300mm wafers a month to 22,500 300mm wafers monthly.

Sony is going to increase BSI production capability and expand the BSI sensors applications to smartphones as well as a wide range of digital imaging products for consumer and professional use, including DSLRs.

Since 2009, Sony has been mass producing BSI sensors for DSCs and camcorders on 200mm wafer lines at Sony Semiconductor Kyushu Corporation’s Nagasaki Technology Center. Furthermore, at the end of this year Sony plans to start the mass production of BSI sensors on 300mm wafer lines at Kumamoto TEC for mobile phone and compact DSC markets.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 27, 2010 10:11 pm 
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Looks like Sony has the Digital Camera business under control.
How long before Canon jumps on board.
________________________________
_____________________

December, 2010,
Tokyo, Japan - Sony Corporation ("Sony") today announced that Sony plans to invest approximately 100 billion yen in Sony Semiconductor Kyushu Corporation's Nagasaki Technology Center ("Nagasaki TEC") in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2012, to increase the production capacity for CMOS image sensors.

This investment plan includes (i) the transfer of the semiconductor fabrication facilities from Toshiba Corporation ("Toshiba") contemplated under a non-binding memorandum of understanding between Sony and Toshiba jointly announced on December 24, 2010, (ii) refurbishment of a part of the above semiconductor fabrication facilities into new wafer lines capable of manufacturing CMOS image sensors, and (iii) refurbishment and equipment of a part of production facilities at Nagasaki TEC Building 3 for wafer processing to differentiate Sony's CMOS image sensors with Sony's independently developed unique technologies.*1

Through the investment plan, Sony will utilize a governmental subsidy to be provided by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry in Japan - the "subsidy for programs to promote siting low-carbon job-creating industries" - mainly in connection with the investment mentioned in (iii) above.

These investments will further strengthen Sony's production capacity for "Exmor" and "Exmor R" CMOS image sensors in order to meet increased demand from markets such as those for smartphones and Digital Still Cameras.
Through this increase of capacity, Sony expects to solidify its position as the world's leading company in CMOS image sensors and CCD image sensors.


As a result of the investments announced today, in addition to the approximately 40 billion yen investment in Sony Semiconductor Kyushu Corporation's Kumamoto Technology Center (announced on September 1, 2010), Sony's total production capacity for CCD and CMOS image sensors will increase from the current level of approximately 25,000 wafers per month to approximately 50,000 wafers per month by the end of March 2012.*1


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Apr 07, 2011 2:00 pm 
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PRESS RELEASE

(Tokyo, April 6, 2011) - Sony Corporation (“Sony” or the “Company”) today updated the status of Sony Group manufacturing operations affected by the March 11 East Japan earthquake, tsunami and related power outages, as of April 6, 2011.

As of March 14, 2011, operations at ten Sony Group sites and facilities had been suspended as a result of damage caused by the earthquake, tsunami and related power outages. As announced on March 22, 2011, manufacturing operations at three of these sites had since resumed or partially resumed. As of April 6, 2011, manufacturing operations at five other sites have also resumed or partially resumed.

Sony Manufacturing Systems Corporation, Kuki Plant (Saitama Prefecture) – Resumed on March 15, 2011.
Sony Chemical & Information Device Corporation, Kanuma Plant (Tochigi Prefecture) – Partially resumed on March 15, 2011. Further expanded operations on March 23, 2011.
Sony Energy Devices Corporation, Tochigi Plant (Tochigi Prefecture) – Partially resumed on March 22, 2011.
Sony Chemical & Information Device Corporation
Tome Plant (Miyagi Prefecture)
Nakada Site – Partially resumed on March 28, 2011.
Toyosato Site – Partially resumed on March 28, 2011.
Sony DADC Japan Inc., Ibaraki Facility (Ibaraki Prefecture) – Partially resumed on March 28, 2011.
Sony Energy Devices Corporation
Koriyama Plant (Fukushima Prefecture) – Partially resumed on April 1, 2011. (Coin batteries, etc.)
Motomiya Plant (Fukushima Prefecture) – Scheduled to gradually resume operations by the end of April 2011.
Sony Shiroishi Semiconductor Inc. (Miyagi Prefecture) – Partially resumed on April 6, 2011.
Sony Chemical & Information Device Corporation
Tagajyo Plant (Miyagi Prefecture) – Currently undergoing cleaning and damage inspection.

As also announced on March 22, 2011, manufacturing operations at certain manufacturing sites that were not directly damaged by the earthquake and tsunami have been adjusted in response to planned power outages and the availability of necessary raw materials and components. While the situation varies according to product, Sony is responding to fluctuations in material or component supply by adjusting production levels at the five sites announced on March 22, 2011, and also at certain other domestic and overseas manufacturing sites from time to time. However, as of April 6, 2011, none of those sites has been required to fully suspend operations.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:32 am 
Quote:
Sony expects to solidify its position as the world's leading company in CMOS image sensors and CCD image sensors.
After they replace their failure with the A900 & A850 sensors,they have a chance. I am curious if Samsung will do something in this respect.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:35 am 
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Razvan wrote:
After they replace their failure with the A900 & A850 sensors,they have a chance.

Care to elaborate ?

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 9:50 am 
Search the internet for reviews. Check out DxO as well for sensor performance. The main reason the Sony full frame sensors are a dissapointment is that they have very poor noise performance.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:04 am 
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Meh, "noise performance" is overrated ;). I've seen quite nice results up to 3200 using the correct settings...(the so-called Agorabasta settings).

Have a look here for a couple of examples.

http://annem.smugmug.com/Events/Ilse-de ... 4054_Y37bg

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 10:17 am 
ISO800 on those sensors looks pretty bad,there's a lot of grain...I don't understand how you would find ISO3200 acceptable.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 11:44 am 
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The Sony FF was and is image quality competitive. Just had another look at DxO and it's pretty much on a par with the 5D2. The D3X does beat it but that is in another price range totally, and even then it is rated less than a stop different from the other two.

The "old" Sony sensors (A3xx and lower generation) were only "bad" as they had a coarse grain due to some bad pre-raw file NR, but since then they're competitive.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Apr 08, 2011 1:49 pm 
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The Sony full frame cameras are not as bad as oft criticized for high ISO considering they have tons of resolution and therefore plenty of leeway for some cleanup, however, it still was clearly not their forte...most folks who I've seen gravitate to the A850/900 did so because of the astounding resolution and detail at low ISO when paired with the very best lenses...The color, dynamic range, and detail is still class-leading with a Zeiss lens strapped on.

As for the noise performance, Sony already cleared that hurdle on the APS-C side starting with the A550, and their 12, 14, & 16MP versions of the APS-C CMOS sensor is definitely the segment leader, whether in the Sony bodies or in Nikon & Pentax bodies. It would be nice if the next Sony full-frame were to include the kind of high ISO improvements that we saw in APS-C from the A350 to the A550.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Apr 10, 2011 11:51 pm 
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RaazV, I seriously and 100% doubt you can differentiate canon, sony, and nikon sensors and their accompanying images. Bearing in mind that clients are not going to give the slightest hell what their images look like at 300% magnification- its about how it looks in print. Sony images up to iso1600 look great, even up to 4feet x 6feet. Dynamic range is greater in sony sensors.

I use Canon so please do not think I am simply fighting for my camera. I just don't like to see unfair and narrow-minded criticisms of good technology.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 8:32 am 
Quote:
RaazV, I seriously and 100% doubt you can differentiate canon, sony, and nikon sensors and their accompanying images.

1st of all,it's Razvan. 2nd,I can differentiate images from Canon,Sony & Nikon. I saw 1st hand what the Sony can do & that's why I expressed my dissapointment towards their full frame cameras. Their noise is also different & a bit more intrussive than that from the other full frame cameras. (personal preference)


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Apr 12, 2011 3:00 pm 
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The people that buy the a850 & a900 do so for landscape and portrait photography, where high ISO noise is a non-issue.

Cover of Pro Photographer...
http://vimeo.com/6795404

Here's a comparison with a Canon IDs Mark III.
Sony $3,000 - Canon $8,000

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/AA900/AA900A.HTM


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 06, 2011 3:48 pm 
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Some interesting Sensor production stats. DSLR accounts for 1% of production but 27% of revenue.

complements of sonyalpharumours

Image

Image


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Sep 25, 2011 4:27 pm 
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I have to support Razvan here: The images that I saw after release (that were supposed to be from production models) had so much color noise that even at ISO 800 they looked ugly (at 100%).
But I think Sony has been playing catch-up with the latest sensors. So the images from the 16MP APS-C variant looks as competent as the Nikon D5000/7000 sensors.
And we should remember: Sensor is one thing, sensor micro-lenses + deBayering + other processing is what determines the final outcome. So even if Sony and Nikon used the same 24MP FX sensor the results were clearly different.

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