Yesterday we reported on Canon's $450 million investment in a new CMOS plant which will double its production capacities. You can read the original part here.
Sony, Canon's biggest rival in the image sensor business, today revealed its plans to invest 60 billion Yen (around $485 mil) in its Kumamoto TEC Fab 2 facility. The fab is Sony's principle facility for the fabrication of imaging devices, such as the CCDs, micro-display devices and of course CMOS sensors.
Sony claims it will increase the plant's capacity, expanding its 5000m2 of clean rooms by a further 5000m2 by the end of 2009. Basically, they're doubling the capacity, like Canon.
In the press release the company states that "over the next three years, Sony will continue to strengthen its CMOS sensor manufacturing operations to provide growth markets such as mobile phones and digital still cameras with CMOS sensors that combine high image quality with advanced processing speeds."
Last year Sony entered the dSLR market with its Alpha series, an interesting camera with Konica Minolta written all over it. The CMOS race seems to be heating up, with two big players investing a billion dollars between them in new production facilities. Consumers and amateur photographers will probably have something to smile about in a year or so.