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HomeElectronicsSony opens $66m Thailand FAB

Sony opens $66m Thailand FAB

Sony Group has started operations at a new semiconductor fab in Thailand, the company announced on Thursday, boosting production of automotive image sensors that are in strong demand with the spread of driver-assistance systems.

The company invested around 10 billion yen ($66 million) to build the new fab on the premises of its existing plant in central Thailand’s Pathum Thani province.

The new fab came online in February, boosting the plant’s production scale by 70%. The company expects to create 2,000 new jobs, 20% of which will be engineers, by 2026 after expanding production.

Sony Group set aside space in the new fab for future expansion to accommodate increases in demand.

“We anticipate medium- to long-term growth and will produce highly competitive products like vehicle image sensors,” Sony Semiconductor Solutions Group President Terushi Shimizu said at an opening ceremony on Thursday.

The fab will handle back-end processes for image sensors. After going through front-end processing in Japan to form circuits on wafers, they will be exported the Thai facility for cutting and packaging to create finished products.

The facility will mainly produce image sensors for advanced driver-assistance systems that detect pedestrians and obstacles.

Advances in autonomous driving are expected to increase demand for Sony Group’s high-performance image sensors. The company targets a 39% market share in the field by fiscal 2025, up 14 percentage points from the current level.

The fab also will produce a new type of laser diode for use in high-capacity hard disk drives, a technology attracting attention for use in data centers. The diodes will be supplied to U.S. data storage company Seagate Technology.

Labor costs in Thailand are expected to rise, with Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin having announced plans to raise the minimum wage.

Even taking into account the minimum wage hike, “there are still significant cost benefits, including labor costs,” said Takeshi Matsuda, managing director of local production subsidiary Sony Device Technology (Thailand). “We will work with local Thai universities and other partners to recruit engineers.”

Vishnu Jaishankar
Vishnu Jaishankarhttps://chipquip.com
Vishnu is a tech journalist with expertise in technology and sustainability. He delivers insightful coverage on AI, cybersecurity, semiconductors and chips manufacturing, startups, and digital transformation.
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