Sony Acquires Toshiba’s Image Sensor Unit for $155m
Confirming rumors from October, Sony announced that it has acquired rival Toshiba’s image sensor unit for $155 million. Sony itself has recently reorganized its sensor business unit into a wholly-owned subsidiary dubbed the Sony Semiconductor Corporation. Under the agreement, Toshiba will transfer its Oita Operations semiconductor fabrication facilities, equipment, and related assets.
Under the deal, Sony will own Toshiba’s Oita Operations unit which served as Toshiba’s primary 300mm wafer production line. The doors to the Oita Operations facilities were first opened in February 2004. It has a building area of 24,100 square meters and a total floor space of 48,800 square meters. The main products it produces are CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) image sensors and memory controllers.
CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) hardware are battery-powered memory chips in a computer that house startup information. A computer’s basic input/output system (BIOS) utilizes the startup data housed by the CMOS hardware whenever the computer starts up.
CMOS sensors serve as an alternative to change-coupled device (CCD) image sensors. Change-coupled devices transfer electrical charge within a device to an area where the charge can be easily manipulated.
An advantage of using a complementary metal-oxide semiconductor sensor versus a change-coupled device sensor is that CMOS sensors tend to be more cost-efficient.
Another advantage of using CMOS image sensors over CCD image sensors is that in the event that a light source has overloaded the sensitivity of the device, the CMOS would not bleed the light source onto other pixels due to its low blooming properties.
The two companies expect to complete the acquisition and transfer of properties and assets by the end of the fiscal year, March, 31, 2016.
The specific address of the Oita wafer fabrication facility is: 3500 Oaza Matsuoka, Oita City, Oita Prefecture, Japan.
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