Sony FY2018 Q2 Financial Report Released: Sony’s Sensor Business is Booming

Many camera companies are using Sony sensors today and it’s in part because there are not a lot of options. Not long ago there were rumors of Samsung returning to the market and the Fujifilm X-T3 having a Samsung sensor inside, but it was recently discovered that even the X-T3 is using a Sony sensor inside. So the rumored return of Samsung hasn’t come into play yet, but this is probably one factor causing Sony not to ramp up production any more than they can with current resources. Now might be a good time for Samsung to return to camera sensor production if Sony can’t fill all of the demand, but if they do not it’s likely that Sony will have to make plans to further increase production.

Sony’s recent FY2018 Q2 report is almost bullish on how well their sensors are selling and seekingalpha has a great break down of how well things are going for Sony:

The back-illuminated ToF sensor that we started to mass-produce from the second half of this fiscal year has started up smoothly. We expect that demand for image sensors will continue to expand for the next several years as multiple sensor cameras and larger-sized image sensors are adopted in smartphones. In order to proactively adapt to this increased demand, we have brought forward a capital expenditure plan for image sensors in our third mid-range plan and begun to consider increasing the amount.

As a result, we might increase our image sensor capital expenditures by about 20% above our previous plan, which will bring our production capacity to nearly a maximum that can fill in to our existing facilities by fiscal 2020.

…the Semiconductor business is very capital-intensive. So we remain very careful and cautious about proceeding with this. This capacity increase this time around is, as I mentioned, to meet the demand leading to 2020. And I mentioned the production capacity per month of 130k [wafers]. In the existing buildings, we can increase the production up to 136k [wafers]. We are looking into such a expansion opportunity. So using the existing buildings as much possible, why the increase in the production capacity?

…On our side, the imager for smartphones, our margins is about 20% plus.

via Sony.netimage-sensors-world

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