Canon to build new image sensor factory

Camera maker will spend $450 million to build a new manufacturing site that will build 3 million CMOS sensors a year.

Canon plans to build a new factory south of Tokyo to build image sensors for its SLR (single-lens reflex) cameras and some video cameras, the company told The Wall Street Journal.

The company will invest 55 billion yen, or about $450 million, in the new factory, which is scheduled to open in July 2008, according to the report Wednesday. Its capacity will be about 3 million sensors per year.

The company will build the sensors using the complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) manufacturing process that's also used in the mainstream processor and memory chip market. Many digital cameras, including Canon's lower-end models, use a different approach called charge-coupled device (CCD) technology.

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