Sony Corporation announced yesterday that it plans to further invest in Sony Semiconductor Corporation's Nagasaki and Yamagata Technology Centers in the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016 ("FY15") in order to increase its production capacity for stacked CMOS image sensors. Apple uses stacked CMOS image sensors in the current iPhone 6 Plus.
Sony plans to increase total production capacity for image sensors from the current level of approximately 60,000 wafers per month to the level of approximately 87,000 wafers per month by the end of September 2016. The total additional investment amount is projected to be approximately 45 billion yen ($US 376 million) comprising approximately 24 billion yen of investments in Nagasaki TEC and approximately 21 billion yen of investments in Yamagata TEC.
Stacked CMOS image sensors deliver superior image quality and advanced functionality in a compact size. Demand for these image sensors is anticipated to further increase, particularly within the expanding market for mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets. Sony is striving to bolster its production capacity for stacked CMOS image sensors in order to solidify its leading position in the image sensor market.
The iFixitorg reported that they found that the iPhone 6 Plus camera chip, fabricated by Sony, is a stacked (Exmor RS), back-illuminated CMOS image sensor (CIS) featuring 1.5 µm generation pixels.
Although Sony is the supplier of Apple's iPhone 6 camera sensors, Sony's press release didn't actually name any of their clients including Apple.