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Sony to Ship New CMOS Image Sensors for Smartphones in October

Aug. 20 (Bloomberg) -- Sony Corp., Japan’s largest exporter of consumer electronics, plans to start shipping new sensors in October that produce sharper images than current ones as it seeks to win more orders from smartphone makers.

The complementary metal-oxide semiconductors, or CMOS, are also smaller, Sony said in a statement today. The company, which currently makes imaging modules at a plant in Kumamoto, Japan, will also start making them in Guangzhou, China, this month to boost capacity, it said.

The maker of Cyber-shot cameras is spending 80 billion yen ($1 billion) to boost production capacity for CMOS chips to 60,000 wafers a month from 45,000, it said in June. Tokyo-based Sony aims to win more orders from makers of smartphones with built-in cameras and boost its global market share for the image sensors to 30 percent by March 2014 from 14 percent as of March this year, Sony said today.

Sony will speed up a move into health equipment by using the edge its image sensors have over rivals, Chief Executive Officer Kazuo Hirai said earlier this year. The medical business has the potential to be one of the company’s main sources of profit, according to Hirai.

Sony shares rose 0.5 percent to 949 yen as of 2:15 p.m. in Tokyo trading, trimming their loss this year to 31 percent. Japan’s benchmark Nikkei 225 Stock Average rose 0.2 percent.

To contact the reporter on this story: Mariko Yasu in Tokyo at

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Tighe at

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