"Judging by the way things are going, even after all those investments in capacity expansion, it might not be enough", Shimizu said in an interview at headquarters in Tokyo. This means, for example, that the company sells four 12-megapixel sensors for each iPhone 11 Pro that Apple makes. " Sony has already invested a whopping, $2.6 billion capital to build a new production facility in Nagasaki, which will be operational in April 2021".
Sony executive vice president Terushi Shimizu told the publication his firm is facing higher sensor demand than it can handle for the second year in a row.
"The camera has become the biggest distinguishing factor for smartphone brands and everyone wants their social media photos & videos & # 39; s to look handsome", said Masahiro Wakasugi, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence.
There is no mention in the Bloomberg report that Apple has supply issues and that Apple is a major player in smartphones, they have probably negotiated their contract to ensure that demand is met. According to the report, Sony forecasts that the revenue from its semiconductor division will climb 18% to a staggering, 1.04 trillion yen by March 2020, and the image sensors will make 86% of the total number. The corporation's semiconductor unit experienced a 60 percent income surge in the second quarter.
Like many other technological breakthroughs of the late 20th century - including the transistor, lasers and photovoltaic cells - image sensors were invented at Bell Laboratories. Kazuo Iwama, who as a vice president was key to pushing through the initial decade-long development slog, died before the successful launch of the camcorder business in 1985.
The company is also seeing increased demand for a new generation of image sensors that can see the world in three dimensions.
The trend towards more and more cameras on the back of smartphones has been the main cause of the increased demand, the basic model iPhone 11 has two cameras this year, while the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max have three. The latest camera sensors from smartphone makers' Huawei and Samsung feature cameras with over 40 megapixels. If used on the front of the phone, time of flight sensors allow for hand gestures and facial motion capture for animated avatars. For next year's iPhones, it is expected that Apple will adopt Sony's Time of Flight (ToF) cameras.
Alpeyev and Furukawa write for Bloomberg.