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Canon Building $451M CMOS Plant

Photonics.com
Jul 2007
TOKYO, July 16, 2007 -- Canon Inc. will double the number of CMOS image sensors it makes by investing $451 million in a factory in Kawasaki, Japan, the Reuters news agency reported yesterday. CMOS sensors are used in digital cameras and digital video cameras.

A Canon spokesman said that the company broke ground in May on a new building at an existing research and development facility in Kanagawa Prefecture, near Tokyo, Reuters said.

The new plant will produce roughly the same number of CMOS chips as Canon's existing factory in Ayase, Kanagawa Prefecture -- 3 million a year -- which will double its production capacity, the spokesman said. Operations are expected to start in July 2008.

The CMOS chips will be used in SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras and for the first time will be incorporated into some of Canon's compact camera models, which currently use a CCD image sensor made by other companies, Reuters said. Canon has been developing CMOS sensors for compact models to bring key component production in-house and reduce costs.

In its April report to investors on first quarter 2007 results, Canon said demand for digital SLR cameras, which can use interchangeable lenses, and compact digital cameras continued to experience "healthy" growth during the quarter, and that overall camera sales increased by 15.8 percent over the first quarter of 2006. Canon said net income also reached an all-time quarterly high of $1.1 billion, an increase of 21.2 percent over the same time last year.

According to Japan's Nikkei newspaper, Canon's goal is to produce 24 million digital cameras this fiscal year, up 14 percent from 2006, of which 3 million will be SLRs and the rest will be compact models.

For more information, visit: www.canon.com



GLOSSARY
camera
A light-tight box that receives light from an object or scene and focuses it to form an image on a light-sensitive material or a detector. The camera generally contains a lens of variable aperture and a shutter of variable speed to precisely control the exposure. In an electronic imaging system, the camera does not use chemical means to store the image, but takes advantage of the sensitivity of various detectors to different bands of the electromagnetic spectrum. These sensors are transducers...
chip
1. A localized fracture at the end of a cleaved optical fiber or on a glass surface. 2. An integrated circuit.
digital camera
A camera that converts a collected image into pixels that are black or white digital or shades of gray. The digital data may then be manipulated to enhance or otherwise modify the resulting viewed image.
image
In optics, an image is the reconstruction of light rays from a source or object when light from that source or object is passed through a system of optics and onto an image forming plane. Light rays passing through an optical system tend to either converge (real image) or diverge (virtual image) to a plane (also called the image plane) in which a visual reproduction of the object is formed. This reconstructed pictorial representation of the object is called an image.
photonics
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
sensor
1. A generic term for detector. 2. A complete optical/mechanical/electronic system that contains some form of radiation detector.
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