Sony dominates the image sensor industry. Whether be it a dual-camera setup, triple, quad, or even a five-camera setup.
If you have a smartphone, chances are your phone camera is using Sony’s image sensor. Now, a report from Bloomberg suggests that the high demand is putting a toll on the company.
Despite working round the clock every day, “We are having to apologize to customers because we just can’t make enough” Terushi Shimizu, head of Sony’s semiconductor division told Bloomberg.
Image sensors have become Sony’s most profitable business after the PlayStation. The company forecasts that revenue from making semiconductors will climb 18%, close to 1.8 million yen, of which image sensors account for 86%.
Sony is also opening up a new plant in Nagasaki that will start producing semiconductors in April 2021. To tackle the increasing demand, Shimizu says that the company will keep the chip factories up and running even during holidays.
However, it’s still not enough to keep up with the demand. “Judging by the way things are going, even after all that investment in expanding capacity, it might still not be enough,” said Shimizu.
Craze For Camera
The number of lenses and Megapixel count in a camera setup has become a deciding factor for buying a smartphone. Hence, there is an increasing demand from smartphone makers to make image sensors with more megapixel count.
There is no denying that part of Redmi Note 7 Pro’s success was due to the embedded Sony’s 48 MP IMX586 sensor. In fact, many flagships such as OnePlus lineup, Redmi K20 lineup, etc. featured the same image sensor.
Now, sony is looking at a new type of image sensor that uses time-of-flight in order to create 3D images. Rumors are iPhone 2020 lineup will feature Sony’s upcoming 3D images sensor.