Sony to spend $1.2 bil­lion to dou­ble im­age sen­sor out­put

The Pak Banker - - Company& -

TOKYO: Sony Corp will in­vest $1.2 bil­lion in the next fi­nan­cial year to dou­ble its out­put of im­age sen­sors, tak­ing ad­van­tage of brisk de­mand for dig­i­tal cam­eras and smart­phones, Reuters re­ported.

The sum in­cludes a deal an­nounced last week to buy back a semi­con­duc­tor pro­duc­tion line from Toshiba Corp, which has been es­ti­mated by an in­dus­try source at 50 bil­lion yen ($600 mil­lion).

Sony will take ad­van­tage of a Ja­panese govern­ment sub­sidy for en­vi­ron­men­tally friendly busi­nesses to help with the in­vest­ment, it said in a state­ment but de­clined to say how much that would be.

It will con­vert part of the plant in Na­gasaki, south­ern Ja­pan, for the pro­duc­tion of CMOS (com­ple­men­tary met­alox­ide semi­con­duc­tor) sen­sors and in­vest in wafer pro­cess­ing equip­ment for CMOS im­age sen­sors. Sony is the world's sec­ond largest dig­i­tal cam­era maker be­hind Canon Inc and runs a mo­bile phone joint ven­ture with Swe­den's Eric­s­son.

The in­vest­ment will bring its to­tal pro­duc­tion of im­age sen­sors, in­clud­ing CCD and CMOS types, to 50,000 units a month by March 2011.

In a sep­a­rate news item Sony Corp. has an­nounced the launch of "Mu­sic Un­lim­ited pow­ered by Qri­oc­ity" (MUQ)a new, cloud-based, dig­i­tal mu­sic ser­vice which gives mu­sic lovers with Sony equip­ment ac­cess at any time to mil- lions of songs from ma­jor la­bels.

Through MUQ, users can play mu­sic any time on a wide va­ri­ety of In­ter­net-con­nected Sony de­vices in­clud­ing Sony's 2010 mod­els of net­worken­abled Bravia TV, Blu-ray disc play­ers, PlayS­ta­tion 3 com­puter en­ter­tain­ment sys­tem as well as Vaio and other per­sonal com­put­ers. It will also be­come avail­able on a wide range of Sony's por­ta­ble de­vices, as well as on An­droid­based mo­bile de­vices and other por­ta­ble de­vices.

With Ba­sic (£3.99 in the U.K. and €3.99 in Ire­land) and Pre­mium (£9.99 in the U.K. and €9.99 in Ire­land) monthly sub­scrip­tion plans, MUQ of­fers breadth of con­tent and easy mu­sic dis­cov­ery, fea­tures cited as most im­por­tant by mu­sic en­thu­si­asts.

The ba­sic plan per­mits un­lim­ited stream­ing of the songs to "en­sure users dis­cover mu­sic they want to hear". With ac­cess to an ex­pand­ing cat­a­logue of about six mil­lion songs, the ba­sic plan works as an in­fi­nite ad-free ra­dio sta­tion and sub­scribers can lis­ten to dozens of per­son­al­ized chan­nels - cat­e­go­rized by genre, era as well as mood through Sen­sMe - with­out the re­quire­ment to down­load or man­age their mu­sic files.

Ad­di­tion­ally, the pre­mium sub­scrip­tion plan of­fers a one­time 30 day pre­mium free trial en­abling users to lis­ten in full to ev­ery song on de­mand, cre- ate per­sonal playlists of fa­vorites, and gain ac­cess to pre­mium Top 100 chan­nels which are reg­u­larly up­dated with the lat­est hits.

By study­ing users' lis­ten­ing habits, in­cor­po­rat­ing their 'like/dis­like' song rat­ings, an­a­lyz­ing their ex­ist­ing mu­sic col­lec­tions and more, MUQ adapts to users' mu­sic pref­er­ences and con­stantly tai­lors mu­sic chan­nels to of­fer the most com­pat­i­ble and en­joy­able list of songs. There­fore, the more you lis­ten, the more uniquely per­son­al­ized your mu­sic chan­nels be­come. Fur­ther­more, users can also syn­chro­nize their ex­ist­ing mu­sic files and playlists from other me­dia play­ers in­clud­ing iTunes into MUQ and en­joy their ex­ist­ing mu­sic at any time across all com­pat­i­ble de­vices

Mu­sic Un­lim­ited pow­ered by Qri­oc­ity is ini­tially avail­able in the U.K. and Ire­land with ser­vice avail­abil­ity in Aus­tralia, Canada, France, Ger­many, Italy, Spain, New Zealand and U.S. to be an­nounced in due course dur­ing 2011. More­over, Sony Cor­po­ra­tion (here­after ' Sony') has de­vel­oped "Hy­brid FPA (field-in­duced photo-re­ac­tive align­ment)", a new liq­uid crys­tal align­ment tech­nique which en­ables a sig­nif­i­cantly faster re­sponse time for liq­uid crys­tal dis­plays. Fast re­sponses of less than 3ms have been achieved in test cells through this technology. -Bloomberg

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