Sony Corp., the biggest maker of camera chips used in smartphones, is boosting production of next-generation 3D sensors after getting interest from customers including Apple Inc.
The chips will power front- and rear-facing 3D cameras of models from several smartphone makers in 2019, with Sony kicking off mass production in late summer to meet demand, according to Satoshi Yoshihara, head of Sony’s sensor division. He declined to provide sales or production targets, but said the 3D business is already operating profitably and will make an impact on earnings from the fiscal year starting in April.
Sony’s bullish outlook for 3D cameras provides much needed optimism to the global smartphone industry, which is suffering a slowdown as consumers find fewer reasons to upgrade devices. The Tokyo-based company has started providing software toolkits to outside developers so they can experiment with the chips and create apps that generate models of faces for communication or virtual objects for online shopping.
(Excerpted from Bloomberg.)