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Earthquake hits Sony’s camera production

A magnitude 7.3 Japanese earthquake on April 16th saw electronics giant Sony suspend production of its CMOS camera-chip image sensors at its fabrication plant in Kumamoto – which will have a knock-on effect at its Nagasaki production facility.

Reports suggest that the closure will impact Sony’s production of digital cameras and smartphones.

However, there is local optimism that the closure will be temporary. “We are checking into extent of damage and when we can restart,” said Haruka Kitagawa, a spokesman for Sony. “There hasn’t been major damage to the building.”

One of Sony’s most important customers is Apple which uses the sensors for its iPhone range.

It was only in February that Sony committed a major investment for the Kumamoto site, and thus boosting production from 60,000 wafers a month to 80,000.

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