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Micron plans to double CMOS sensors production

Posted: 25 May 2006 ?? ?Print Version ?Bookmark and Share

Keywords:Yoshiko Hara? Micron? CMOS sensor?

Micron Technology Inc. disclosed it plan to double its CMOS sensor manufacturing capacity by converting two memory fabs to imager chip production.

The company, which currently produces CMOS sensors in Boise, Idaho, and Avezzano, Italy, is converting another Boise plant and one in Nishiwaki, Japan, to sensor production. Each of the four fabs has a production capacity of 50,000 8-inch wafers a month. The Japanese fab will begin test production this month. "Micron can produce CMOS sensors anywhere in the world, but we expect that production at the Nishiwaki fab will bring better service for customers in Japan," said Hisayuki Suzuki, senior director of marketing for Micron's imaging group.

The production expansion is based on Micron's bullish expectations for CMOS sensor market growth. The company predicts the market will expand from 800 million units this year to 1 billion in 2007 and 1.7 billion in 2010. It claims its shipments have accounted for 36 percent of the total volume shipped this year to date.

Micron has been focusing on camera phone sensors and claims to have accounted for 33 percent of the total market for those devices in 2005. Now the company is bidding for higher presence in the sensor market for digital still cameras.

Micron recently announced an 8Mpixel imager in the 1/2.5-inch optical formatan approach favored for use in digital camerasthat was achieved by scaling down the pixel pitch to 1.75m. The company intends to promote the device as its mainstream product next year. It also reported the development of a 1.4m-pixel-pitch sensor prototype.

- Yoshiko Hara
EE Times

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