Canon Building $451M CMOS Plant
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