Sony May Buy Renesas Fab

SAN FRANCISCO — Sony is considering buying a chip fab from the Japanese company Renesas for $96 million.

Nikkei reports that Sony plans to expand its complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor production. The company already has a share of around 30% in that market.

A memorandum of understanding between the companies could be signed early next week. Sony would acquire operating power at the Tsuruoka plant in Yamagata Prefecture by March 31, along with approximately 900 workers.

The Wall Street Journal reported that talks began several months after Renesas announced it would close the plant in two to three years. The company was bailed out by a government-backed fund, but it remains open to the possibility of selling the plant.

Sony has aggressively cut costs to turn around losses in its television sector while increasing its presence in smartphones and image sensors. OmniVision, a rival in the image sensor market, cited “intensifying competition” Tuesday in reporting its fiscal second-quarter results.

— Jessica Lipsky, Associate Editor, EE Times