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Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Sony Buys Semiconductor Manufacturing Facility From Renesas Electronics

Renesas Electronics and Sony have signed a definitive agreement to transfer a semiconductor manufacturing facility and related equipment to Sony, which will be used to make CMOS image sensors.

The Tsuruoka Factory (12-inch front-end wafer fabrication line of the semiconductor production facility) was a property of Renesas Yamagata Semiconductor Co., Ltd., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Renesas Electronics, and will be tranfered to to Sony Semiconductor Corporation ("SCK"), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Sony.

Sony will establish the SCK Yamagata Technology Center on March 31, 2014, utilizing the Tsuruoka Factory semiconductor-related assets.

SCK Yamagata TEC will serve as a new production site for CMOS image sensors, and Sony plans to engage in capital investment from the first half of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2015 through the second half of the fiscal year ending March 31, 2016 in order to increase image sensor production capacity. This investment forms part of Sony's mid- to long-term plan to increase its total production capacity for image sensors from the current capacity of approximately 60,000 wafers per month to approximately 75,000 wafers per month.

Yamagata TEC will primarily engage in the manufacture of photodiodes and wiring processes for stacked CMOS image sensors, which enable superior image quality and advanced functionality with 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.

Renesas has been promoting the realignment of Renesas Group's manufacturing sites in Japan in an effort to strengthen its financial base.

After the asset transfer to Sony, Renesas' system LSIs and others produced at the Tsuruoka Factory will be produced there for Renesas Electronics by SCK on a contract basis for a certain period of time. After expiration of that period, Renesas Electronics will shift the production of the system LSIs to its Naka Factory or discontinue production.

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